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Verstappen tops wet-to-dry final practice – FP3 Report

Mexican Grand Prix – In drying conditions, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen completed a free practice clean sweep by topping the final session ahead of Lewis Hamilton.

With rain falling at the circuit earlier on Saturday, the first half of the session took place in damp conditions, with only a couple of laps being registered before the half-hour mark.

The track gradually dried out enough for the McLarens to be the first to venture out onto the hypersoft tyres to start the dry running.

Track conditions improved gradually over the remainder of the session, with Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas taking P1 early on before being replaced by Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.

However, Bottas would be given no further opportunities to challenge for P1 again after encountering a hydraulics failure with around fifteen minutes to go. The Mercedes team will now have to diagnose the issue and repair the car in time for qualifying.

After the virtual safety car period to clear the car, the final runners to venture out in the dry conditions, Lewis Hamilton and Daniel Ricciardo, only decided to leave the pits with ten minutes to go.

With the track rubbering in for the final moments of the session, Sauber’s Charles Leclerc initially went fastest with a 1:17.059, with Hamilton, Kimi Raikkonen and Carlos Sainz taking turns at moving into second place.

With three minutes to go, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen took top spot with a 1:16.385 before improving to a 1:16.284, with follow-up laps from Hamilton, Vettel, Daniel Ricciardo and Raikkonen bringing them into positions two to five.

Leclerc eventually fell to sixth, with Sainz, Pierre Gasly, Marcus Ericsson and Nico Hulkenberg completing the top ten. Haas’ Kevin Magnussen failed to run due to needing a change of intercooler.

To view the full results of the session, click here.

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Luke Murphy

As an FIA-accredited motor sport journalist, degree-level Motorsport Engineer and amateur karter, Luke's passion for motor sport is evident. He is one of the editors at FormulaSpy and one of the longest-standing members of the team.

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