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F1 Mexican GP: Hamilton heads up FP1 as Verstappen ‘brakes’ out

Lewis Hamilton kicks off his Mexican Grand Prix in fine form with the fastest time in FP1 as Max Verstappen suffers braking issues.
Mexican Grand Prix - Free practice results (1)

Lewis Hamilton has topped first free practice for the Mexican Grand Prix with a fastest lap set on the medium compound tyre, while Max Verstappen spent much of his session on the sidelines with brake problems.

With FP1 getting underway in overcast, temperate conditions, the majority of the field would spend the session racking up the laps in an effort to rubber in the slippery and dusty Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez circuit.

In the end it was Hamilton that would emerge quickest with a rapid 1min 20.914secs lap, though his meagre 0.079s margin over second place Sebastian Vettel is betrayed by his top time being achieved on the medium tyre – the firmest of the compounds available in Mexico this weekend.

Vettel and third place Kimi Raikkonen followed up in second and third places on the soft tyres, while Force India pair of Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg following closely in fourth and fifth, albeit with the use of the super-soft tyres.

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Podium winners in 2015, Williams showed encouraging pace with Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa well inside the top ten in sixth and ninth, the pair split by title leader Nico Rosberg – unable to get quite as much form out of his medium tyres as pace setter Hamilton – and Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo.

A frustrating start for the weekend for Red Bull, Verstappen managed just ten laps before pulling into the pit-lane with rear brake problems on his RB12. With the brakes badly charred by an apparent fire, Verstappen was forced to sit out more than half the session as the team investigated.

Elsewhere, Toro Rosso sneaked into the top ten with Daniil Kvyat, despite a spin for the Russian driver, ahead of Romain Grosjean, Carlos Sainz, Marcus Ericsson and the hindered Verstappen.

The FP1 session was briefly red flagged after Felipe Nasr suffered a front-wing failure and scattered the circuit with debris. Despite this, the Brazilian made it back out on track before the end of the session.

MEXICAN GP: Six things to watch out for in Mexico City!



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