Mexican F1 Grand Prix 2016 Qualifying: Results, Times from Friday's Practice

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistOctober 28, 2016

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - OCTOBER 28:  Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (33) Red Bull Racing Red Bull-TAG Heuer RB12 TAG Heuer on track during practice for the Formula One Grand Prix of Mexico at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez on October 28, 2016 in Mexico City, Mexico.  (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)
Lars Baron/Getty Images

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton continued his fine form during the first practice session of the 2016 Formula One Mexican Grand Prix on Friday, finishing with the fastest time and well ahead of team-mate Nico Rosberg. Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel took the top spot in the second session.

The current standings leader only finished in seventh place in the first session, but Mercedes ran the bulk of their session on medium tyres, while the likes of Force India tried the supersofts. Ferrari's Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen finished in second and third place, respectively.

Vettel took top marks in the second session, capping off a great day for Ferrari. Hamilton and Rosberg completed the podium.

FP2 Recap

Here's a look at the timesheets from the second practice session, via Formula 1's official Twitter account:

Formula 1 @F1

PROVISIONAL CLASSIFICATION (END OF #FP2): VET on top for @ScuderiaFerrari as @LewisHamilton stays ahead of @nico_rosberg #MexicoGP 🇲🇽 https://t.co/G8elpMpT8U

As usual, the field focused on simulating qualification before going back to the longer runs in the second practice session, and Mercedes also took the time to practice more starts.

The big winner of the second session was undoubtedly Ferrari, who took the fight right to the Silver Arrows and distanced Mercedes during the early parts of the session.

The Channel 4 F1 analysts were impressed:

Channel 4 F1® @C4F1

Ben: "That is pretty impressive from Ferrari - that on the same track and on the same tyres VET has ended up faster than both Mercedes" 💬 https://t.co/PJgPYlOSJd

It's unclear what kind of fuel loads both teams were running and whether or not Mercedes went all out, however. Judging from Hamilton's times in the first session, Mercedes should still be in control during the weekend.

HAAS' Romain Grosjean had a nightmare session, as his car developed a fault before he even got the chance to complete a lap. After an hour in the pits, F1 on NBC Sports assumed he wouldn't even head out:

F1 on NBC Sports @F1onNBCSports

Nightmare session for Grosjean. Electronic issue and floor off, and he won't be getting any running in rest of FP2. #MexicoGP #F1onNBC

The Frenchman did get the chance to complete a few laps, however, and even put together a good timed lap.

McLaren's Fernando Alonso ended his session early, but not before he got in the way of Vettel on the track, frustrating the German.

Scuderia Ferrari German driver Sebastian Vettel drives his car during the Formula One Mexico Grand Prix first practice session at the Hermanos Rodriguez circuit in Mexico City on October 28, 2016. / AFP / PEDRO PARDO        (Photo credit should read PEDRO
PEDRO PARDO/Getty Images

Rosberg suffered a slight scare, as he hit the kerb in similar fashion to Felipe Nasr during the first session, but fortunately for the standings leader, he barely did any damage to his front wing. The German finished the session on the soft compound, with Hamilton opting for soft tyres.

Daniil Kvyat lost power just before the end of the session, while Vettel kept hold of the top spot.


FP1 Recap

Here's a look at the times from the first practice session:

Formula 1 @F1

#FP1 PROVISIONAL CLASSIFICATION (END OF SESSION): So far, so good for @LewisHamilton, @ScuderiaFerrari and @ForceIndiaF1 #MexicoGP 🇲🇽 #F1 https://t.co/MIpL4Watm4

Jolyon Palmer and Kevin Magnussen of Renault were the first drivers out for what would turn out to be an incident-filled first practice session.

Red Bull's Max Verstappen played a leading part, giving an early indication of what was to come with this show of sparks, per Sky Sports F1:

Sky Sports F1 🏎 @SkySportsF1

Maybe not quite what Max Verstappen had in mind when it came to lighting the track up https://t.co/wlKv3uvcDz #skyf1 https://t.co/Q3EY8eLdK7

Valtteri Bottas set the first real fast time before the Mercedes duo shot up the board, with Rosberg striking first on the soft tyres. Hamilton hit back almost immediately, and Rosberg ran wide at Turn 1, taking away his chance to reclaim the lead.

Just as the field started getting in some good laps, Nasr hit the kerb hard and wrecked his front wing, sending pieces of debris all over the track.

Formula 1's official Twitter account shared this photo of the damage:

Formula 1 @F1

RED FLAG: @FelipeNasr's front wing disintegrates spraying debris over track #MexicoGP 🇲🇽 #F1 https://t.co/mo1rV7VUbQ

The lights turned back to green with just over 45 minutes left in the session, but another incident occurred almost immediately. The high altitude caused all kinds of problems for several constructors, most notably Red Bull, who had to deal with a handful of issues.

The most spectacular happened shortly after the restart, as Max Verstappen's car entered the pits with both brakes on fire.

Autosport shared this photo:

Autosport @autosport

Max Verstappen's flaming brakes, caught by @latphotographic #F1 #MexicoGP https://t.co/OCQledAOrM

The Mercedes duo switched to medium tyres but started seeing competition from the other constructors, with Force India and Williams doing a fine job bridging the gap. The Force Indias clocked their laps on the supersofts, however.

Daniil Kvyat provided a slight scare with a spin before Ferrari's Vettel pushed himself into P2 on the soft compound, sitting just behind Hamilton. Daniel Ricciardo also spent time in the pits with cool air being blasted over his brakes, an indication Red Bull could be in for a long weekend.

Some light rainfall at the end of the session meant the overall timesheets remained unchanged.  


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