Lewis Hamilton has set the fastest time in the first practice session for the Mexican Grand Prix, narrowly edging out Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel by 0.079 seconds.

The Briton had jumped to the top of the timesheets early on in the session having made his first run on the soft compound tyre, however, Hamilton improved on his time once he switched to the medium compound to a 1:20.914 which remained unbeaten in the session.

Vettel had spent almost his entire session running the soft tyre, having only used the medium to complete his installation lap. The German didn’t set the times alight on his first set, although he fitted a new set of softs late in the session to demote both of the Force India drivers and slot into second position.

His team mate Kimi Raikkonen ran the same program and finished the session in third place, just 0.158 seconds off the pace.

Championship leader Nico Rosberg enjoyed a steady practice completing 32 laps, registering his best lap of 1:21.673 also using the medium tyre, however, was well down on pace as he finished seven-tenths off the pace in seventh.

The two Force India drivers impressed early as Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg ran as high as second and third position respectively using the super soft tyres. Despite being demoted by the two Ferraris, they managed to finish the session in fourth and fifth position and ahead of Williams’ Valtteri Bottas.

Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo struggled to find pace around a dusty Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez, only managing to finish in eighth place ahead of Felipe Massa and Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat.

The session was brought to a halt as Felipe Nasr’s front wing suddenly combusted jest before the halfway mark, bringing out the red flag due to the debris left on track.

The Brazilian ran over the kerbing which sent violent vibrations through his Sauber, and caused half of the front wing to collapse after he had finished running over the kerbs.

Sauber managed to repair the damage on Nasr’s car and get him back out to complete a handful of laps in the final few minutes of the session.

Max Verstappen also ran into trouble in his Red Bull, when he returned to the pits and his rear brakes caught on fire, resulting in his mechanics to use the fire extinguishers on his car.

The Dutchman was sidelined for a heft time period while repairs were carried out on his car, with the team unable to get him back out to the circuit before the session ended, resulting in the teenager only completing 10 laps and finishing 14th.

Image via Mercedes AMG F1 Petronas

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Josh Kruse

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