GP Messico, prove libere venerdì–30/10/2015
Mexican GP: Nico Rosberg leads the Red Bulls in F1 practice two
Nico Rosberg finished Friday practice for Formula 1’s first Mexican Grand Prix in 23 years by comfortably topping the times.
On a soft-tyre run in the second session at the Mexico City track, Mercedes driver Rosberg was quickest with a lap of 1m21.531s.
Daniil Kvyat and Daniel Ricciardo were second and third on a circuit that appears to suit Red Bull, finishing 0.245 seconds and 0.337s adrift respectively.
Newly-crowned three-time champion Lewis Hamilton could only manage fourth, 0.430s behind team-mate Rosberg, although his attempts to set quicker laps were often thwarted by traffic.
As per the first session, the opening half-hour was dominated by a number of spins and incidents.
After leading the way in first practice – albeit controversially so – Max Verstappen’s second practice was over inside five minutes, with the 17-year-old sliding into a barrier out of the exit of Turn 16, one of the slower sections of the track.
It brought out the red flags while his Toro Rosso was recovered and started a series of spins and slides for a number of drivers on the very slippery asphalt.
Poor weather conditions in recent months in Mexico City delayed the laying of the top layer of the circuit, and with it still being so new and with oils forcing their way to the surface, it resulted in plenty of action.
After a seven-minute delay under the red flags, Valtteri Bottas was the next to suffer as he lost his Williams under braking at high speed into Turn 1, with the Finn fortunate to only escape with losing his front wing after clipping a barrier.
Turn 1 proved to be particularly troublesome, with Carlos Sainz Jr, home hero Sergio Perez and Pastor Maldonado all going off track at that point.
Sebastian Vettel only just held onto his Ferrari on entry to the pitlane at one stage, while Hamilton spun out of the sharp-left Turn 4, resulting in him facing the wrong way.
With 28 minutes remaining Romain Grosjean became the second retiree of the session, pulling his Lotus off on to the grass at Turn 10 due to a clutch problem, resulting in a second red-flag period as he helped the marshals push his car behind a barrier.
Vettel ended the session fifth overall, a fraction of second behind Hamilton, with his Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen the only other driver to finish within a second of Rosberg, 0.868s adrift.
Bottas, who also took out the bollard late on that separates the pitlane entry point from the track, was seventh, just over a second back, followed by McLaren duo Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button.
Button spent the opening 45 minutes in the garage due to a deployment issue in the wake of a planned second Honda engine change that means he is hit with a 50-place grid penalty for Sunday.
Felipe Massa completed the top 10, 1.758s down, before a late sprinkling of rain that added to the slippery conditions led to a run on intermediate rubber for a number of drivers to close out the session.
PRACTICE TWO TIMES:
|2||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1m21.776s||0.245s||27|
|3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m21.868s||0.337s||28|
|11||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m23.290s||1.759s||34|
|13||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m23.364s||1.833s||41|
|15||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m23.597s||2.066s||33|
|–||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||–||–||2|
Mexican GP: Max Verstappen quickest in practice one for Toro Rosso
Max Verstappen set the pace for Toro Rosso in practice one as Formula 1 began its first Mexican Grand Prix weekend in 23 years.
The teenager clocked a 1m25.990s late in the session as the track conditions improved to finish 0.305 seconds clear of Daniil Kvyat’s Red Bull, with Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen third.
Verstappen’s time raised eyebrows in the pitlane as he had gone off course in the esses section on the way to setting the fastest time, cutting across the run-off area at the second part of the corner after a mistake on the way in.
Drivers started the session on the intermediates after overnight rain in Mexico City left the circuit damp in places.
Conditions were tricky due to the combination of a wet track and freshly laid asphalt, with Sebastian Vettel reporting it was "ridiculously slippery".
Valtteri Bottas set the early pace for Williams, clocking a 1m31.868s, before the field started to make the switch to the medium tyres after half an hour.
Despite the track drying out, the circuit remained tricky – with several drivers running off, particularly at Turns 8 and 10.
Nico Rosberg moved into first place, but then skated off track at the entrance to the stadium with smoke pouring from the rear wheels and flames around his brakes.
The German recovered to the pits, where Mercedes worked on a fix to aid cooling and got him out for the final minutes of the session.
The Mexico City track is located 2220 metres above sea level, which means the air is thinner and in turn puts pressure on brake and engine cooling.
Rosberg was eventually demoted to sixth, behind Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo, and ahead of Bottas and Carlos Sainz Jr.
Driving on home soil, Sergio Perez drew huge cheers from a decent crowd on Friday and finished ninth, with Felipe Massa completing the top 10.
Newly-crowned world champion Lewis Hamilton clocked up 27 laps, 10 fewer than Sainz who completed the most, but set his best time early in the session. That left him 11th.
Jolyon Palmer, who will contest all the remaining Friday morning practice sessions this season ahead of his race debut with Lotus next year, was 15th, two tenths slower than team-mate Pastor Maldonado.
Jenson Button completed just nine laps before parking his McLaren in the garage so the team could complete a scheduled engine change, his second of the weekend and one that will cause him to take a 50-place grid penalty.
PRACTICE ONE TIMES:
|1||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m25.990s||–||38|
|2||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1m26.295s||0.305s||27|
|5||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m27.185s||1.195s||28|
|8||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m27.410s||1.420s||37|
|9||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m27.581s||1.591s||19|
|16||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m29.099s||3.109s||17|