Max Verstappen was fastest in FP1 of F1 Mexico GP but not far ahead of Alexander Albon, with Sergio Perez in third.
Half of the F1 field ran FP1 drivers in Mexico GP in a normal weekend as Red Bull’s Max Verstappen set the pace with a 1m19.718s lap which was only 0.095s quicker than Williams’ Alexander Albon, who put in a surprise second place lap.
Verstappen had minor issues with his pedal but it didn’t hamper him much with teammate Sergio Perez ending up in third from McLaren’s Lando Norris. The Brit also complained of rev issue early on but it was a trouble-free run all-through the session.
Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc was fifth after missing early part due to a suspected engine issue. The other Ferrari also had hydraulic issue with Carlos Sainz in seventh behind McLaren’s Oscar Piastri, who set his best time on the C4 prototype compound.
AlphaTauri’s Daniel Ricciardo was eighth from Alpine’s Esteban Ocon with Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll rounding off the Top 10 whereby the first of Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton was 11th. Haas’ Nico Hulkenberg was 12th after a late improvement on his final lap.
Alfa Romeo’s Zhou Guanyu was 13th from the other Williams of Logan Sargeant, who was more than a second away from Albon. The first of F1 rookies was Oliver Bearman in 15th, having taken over the Haas of Kevin Magnussen.
Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso was only 16th but he spent a lot of time in the pits with the mechanics working on the car. He led rookies Isack Hadjar, Jack Doohan and Frederik Vesti in the AlphaTauri, Alpine and Mercedes cars respectively.
They filled in for Yuki Tsunoda, Pierre Gasly and George Russell, with Alfa Romeo’s Theo Pourchaire unable to set a time due to brake system issue which the team tired to fix but they couldn’t despite changing the steering wheel. He replaced Valtteri Bottas.
The session was smooth all along but there were several drivers going over the kerbs and sliding over them, while some also had off moments too. Even though Tsunoda did not run, he has taken up a new ICE, TC, MGU-H, MGU-K, ES and CE where he is set for a grid penalty as all of the new components are beyond the set number.