The final hour of practice at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez saw Nico Rosberg as the fastest man on track ahead of qualifying for the Mexican Grand Prix.

There were several cheers for home hero Sergio Perez who is racing at home for the first time in his F1 career. There was also news of another Mexican driver joining the grid for next season by the name of Esteban Gutierrez who will join Haas for 2016, with the popular announcement made in Mexico.

Many teams this session were doing their usual setup runs as well as still deciding which race tyre would be best suited for their strategies for Sunday’s race. With options and primes both in the mix, some teams may split strategies with their drivers.

Many drivers were struggling out on track going off at certain parts. Ahead of the Grand Prix, race director Charlie Whiting has clearly stated that drivers must adhere to track limits.

The session came to a standstill early on for Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen who pulled over on the grass early on in the session after smoking and flames were seen coming out of his Ferrari.  Jenson Button also didn’t have much luck as he had further engine problems in this session with McLaren-Honda putting back the FP1 engine back in for qualifying.

Carlos Sainz made a slight misjudgement, making a short trip to the Force India pit box before returning to the Toro Rosso box. Their sister team, Red Bull Racing, were feeling confident to fight at the top of the grid after looking very competitive and showing great pace in the last race in Austin.

Teams that could struggle in qualifying are Lotus and Sauber although Romain Grosjean did set a fast time on the soft compound tyres. Both McLarens of Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button may struggle again in this race and they will both be taking big grid penalties for Sunday’s race. Ferrari will also hope that Kimi Raikkonen’s car issues will be fixed so that he can have a smoother qualifying session, there is still uncertainty as to whether he will receive a penalty for the race, if a component needs to be changed.

Image via Mercedes AMG F1 Petronas

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Josh Kruse

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