Red Bull has dominated the first day of running ahead of this weekend’s Formula 1 Mexican Grand Prix by topping both of Friday’s practice sessions.
Max Verstappen headed Daniel Ricciardo across the two 90-minute sessions, despite the Dutchman rolling to a halt in the latter stages of Practice 2.
Heading down the front straight Verstappen’s car suffered a hyrdaulic failure which left him no option but to park the car and climb out with 10 minutes remaining.
Despite the early exit he still ended the day fastest from team-mate Ricciardo who was a tenth of a second slower.
Renault backed up its performance from the opening session up with Carlos Sainz third best, though 1.2 seconds adrift of Verstappen’s outright pace.
The second Renault of Nico Hulkenberg was fifth, reinforcing their potential, the duo split by Sebastian Vettel who set a nearly identical time to Sainz.
Championship leader Lewis Hamilton was only seventh fastest, his time in second practice almost identical to that from the opening session.
Hamilton’s best lap was 1.4s away from Verstappen’s pace, with Bottas half a tenth further back in ninth.
Kimi Raikkonen was eighth best, though both the two Mercedes and the United States Grand Prix winner were slower than Brendon Hartley’s Toro Rosso in sixth.
Red Bull had been fastest in the day’s opening practice session, Verstappen ahead of Ricciardo at the top of a Renault-powered top four.
Both Renaults were second fastest, though 1.2s slower than Red Bull, with Sainz third best from Hulkenberg.
Lewis Hamilton was only fifth fastest for Mercedes, one spot up from team-mate Bottas and 1.4s off Verstappen’s time.
Ferrari then locked itself in as the fourth best team in the opening session, Vettel from Raikkonen with the two-by-two formation only broken by Brendon Hartley in ninth.
Both sessions proved relatively drama free, with Verstappen crawling to a halt in the latter session following a spin from Raikkonen at the hairpin in the morning.
McLaren took the opportunity to plug Lando Norris in place of Fernando Alonso for the opening session, with Nicholas Latifi at Force India, Antonio Giovinazzi and Sauber into opening practice.
While Hartley demonstrated strong pace, a power unit change for Pierre Gasly saw limited running for the Frenchman in the opening session, and will see him start the race from the back of the grid on Sunday.
Pracctice continues on Saturday morning, local time, ahead of qualifying at 0500 AEDT.
Results: Formula 1 Mexican Grand Prix, Practice 2
|1||33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Renault||1:16.720|
|2||3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Renault||1:16.873||+0.153s|
|6||28||Brendon Hartley||Toro Rosso Honda||1:18.061||+1.341s|
|10||11||Sergio Perez||Force India Mercedes||1:18.167||+1.447s|
|11||31||Esteban Ocon||Force India Mercedes||1:18.485||+1.765s|
|12||8||Romain Grosjean||Haas Ferrari||1:18.733||+2.013s|
|13||16||Charles Leclerc||Sauber Ferrari||1:19.024||+2.304s|
|14||10||Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso Honda||1:19.047||+2.327s|
|15||2||Stoffel Vandoorne||McLaren Renault||1:19.096||+2.376s|
|16||18||Lance Stroll||Williams Mercedes||1:19.219||+2.499s|
|17||9||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber Ferrari||1:19.322||+2.602s|
|18||35||Sergey Sirotkin||Williams Mercedes||1:19.335||+2.615s|
|19||14||Fernando Alonso||McLaren Renault||1:19.543||+2.823s|
|20||20||Kevin Magnussen||Haas Ferrari||1:19.670||+2.950s|
Results: Formula 1 Mexican Grand Prix, Practice 1
|1||33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Renault||1:16.656|
|2||3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Renault||1:17.139||+0.483s|
|9||28||Brendon Hartley||Toro Rosso Honda||1:19.024||+2.368s|
|10||34||Nicholas Latifi||Force India Mercedes||1:19.078||+2.422s|
|11||11||Sergio Perez||Force India Mercedes||1:19.124||+2.468s|
|12||36||Antonio Giovinazzi||Sauber Ferrari||1:19.134||+2.478s|
|13||8||Romain Grosjean||Haas Ferrari||1:19.276||+2.620s|
|14||9||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber Ferrari||1:19.312||+2.656s|
|15||47||Lando Norris||McLaren Renault||1:19.646||+2.990s|
|16||2||Stoffel Vandoorne||McLaren Renault||1:19.716||+3.060s|
|17||20||Kevin Magnussen||Haas Ferrari||1:19.853||+3.197s|
|18||35||Sergey Sirotkin||Williams Mercedes||1:19.899||+3.243s|
|19||18||Lance Stroll||Williams Mercedes||1:20.142||+3.486s|
|20||10||Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso Honda|