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F1 Mexican Grand Prix: Verstappen tops slippery FP1 as brakes halt Rosberg

Max Verstappen emerges top of a treacherous first free practice session for the Mexican Grand Prix as drivers find the limit of the revamped venue
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Max Verstappen had the honour of controversially topping the first F1 free practice session to take place at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in 23 years as slippery conditions and braking issues defined the Mexican Grand Prix opener.

The first motorsport action seen at the Mexico City circuit for several years, the circuit was expected to be lacking in grip even before light rain earlier in the morning made conditions particularly treacherous during the initial stages.

Indeed, with drivers struggling to find grip around an unknown layout, even on intermediate tyres, several would experience off-track moments, but times would steadily come down as the session progressed.

However, as they did it was Verstappen that would be classified as quickest despite seemingly having cut turn 11 en route, the Toro Rosso forced to take the line after getting out of shape around the Esses.

Despite this, the Dutchman's 1min 25.990secs stood at the end of the session, leading a Renault-powered 1-2, with Daniil Kvyat second. Indeed, it was a strong session for the Renault-powered cars, the tight infield of the circuit helping to negate its speed disadvantage down the 1.2km home straight.

With times improving to the end, Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel ascended to third and fourth for Ferrari, ahead of Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Rosberg, the German making it back on track late on despite his brakes dramatically catching fire when he out-braked himself into turn 12 at the start of the stadium.

Though Rosberg's issues were certainly more dramatic, they were symptomatic of the problems being felt across the field, with several teams reporting heightened temperatures due to cooling conditions brought about by the unusually high altitude.

One of several drivers to spin, along with Felipe Nasr, Sergio Perez and Ricciardo, Valtteri Bottas recovered to set the seventh fastest time in the best of the Williams', ahead of Carlos Sainz, home hero Perez and Felipe Massa.

New champion Lewis Hamilton, meanwhile, could only manage a moderate 11th fastest, ahead of Marcus Ericsson, Pastor Maldonado and Nasr.

Jenson Button, meanwhile, managed just nine laps in the McLaren Honda ahead of what is set to be a tough weekend of the team having opted to take engine change penalties.



Tagged as: Toro Rosso , Max Verstappen

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
24.10.2015- free practice 3,  Max Verstappen (NED) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR10
27.11.2016 - Race, Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12
27.11.2016 - Race, Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12 leads Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid
27.11.2016 - Race, Felipe Nasr (BRA) Sauber C34 and Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12
27.11.2016 - Race, Start of the race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31 off trach and Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12 spins
27.11.2016 - Race, Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12
27.11.2016 - Race, Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12
27.11.2016 - Race, Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR11 and Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team VF-16
27.11.2016 - Race, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12
27.11.2016 - Race, Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12 leads Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid
27.11.2016 - Race, Daniil Kvyat (RUS) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR11
27.11.2016 - Race, Marcus Ericsson (SUE) Sauber C34, Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR11 and Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12
27.11.2016 - Race, Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR11
27.11.2016 - Race, Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12 leads Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid
27.11.2016 - Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid leads Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12
27.11.2016 - Race, Start of the race, Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12 spins
27.11.2016 - Race, Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR11 leads Pascal Wehrlein (GER) Manor Racing MRT05
27.11.2016 - Race, Start of the race, Daniil Kvyat (RUS) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR11 and Pascal Wehrlein (GER) Manor Racing MRT05

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