Max Verstappen has topped the first practice session of the Mexican Grand Prix ahead of Red Bull Racing’s Daniil Kvyat and Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen.
The Toro Rosso teenager posted his fastest lap by cutting the Turn 10 corner after briefly losing control due to the slippery conditions of the green track. This left Kvyat’s time of 1:26.295 the fastest legal time of the session, despite being three-tenths of a second behind Verstappen.
The opening session of the Mexican Grand Prix got underway under damp conditions due to overnight and morning rain. Intermediate tyres were the choice of all the drivers, who were tasked with tip-toeing their way around the newly surfaced track whilst a slippery layer of water was present.
Kimi Raikkonen was the first driver to set a timed lap around the re-designed circuit posted a 1:37.169 on the intermediate tyre.
After the first thirty minutes of practice the track had dried out enough for drivers to test slick tyres. Valtteri Bottas was the first to put on the medium compound tyre and went to the top of the timesheets with a 1:32.489. The Finn then improved on his own time the following lap, posting a 1:30.678.
Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo then jumped to the top of the leaderboard halfway through the session dipping under the 1m30s with a time of 1:29.502.
2016 Lotus driver and current reserve driver Jolyon Palmer subbed for Romain Grosjean again, and briefly spent time on the top of the table, until Nico Rosberg quickly took the number one spot away by going seven-tenths of a second quicker than Palmers best time.
Rosberg’s session then experienced an interruption when his rear brakes overheated heading towards the stadium complex and caught fire. The German made it back to the pits where it was thought his session was going to be over, although he made it back to the track to post his quickest lap of practice to finish the session in sixth position.
McLaren’s Jenson Button wasn’t so lucky, his practice was cut short with half an hour left to run due to his new power unit experience problems deploying his energy system. The team decided to swap out his new power unit with another new power unit to be ready for FP2. McLaren had already planned to run the two this weekend which will gift Button a 50-place grid penalty on Sunday.
2015 F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton finished the session outside the top ten in 11th position.
Image via XPB Images