Mexican Grand Prix - Free practice results (2)
Sebastian Vettel has ended the first day of free practice action around the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez atop the timesheets in an FP2 session largely dictated by those who could extract pace and longevity from the tyres.
The Ferrari man was the first driver to attempt his flying lap on the super-soft tyres, his tidy effort of 1min 19.790s setting a benchmark his rivals couldn't manage as they come up against distinct lack of grip around the Mexican venue.
A new option for this year's race, the difficulties in getting the super-soft up to temperature in the cooler conditions would see several drivers locking up on their best laps, while severe degradation on the super soft and soft rubber creates a potentially interesting narrative ahead of the race.
BREAKING POINT: These F1 races really push drivers and cars to the limit
Indeed, Lewis Hamilton would have two goes as his quick lap but despite going quicker on the second attempt, he would still end up 0.004s behind Vettel.
Nico Rosberg, meanwhile, ended his day a comfortable distance behind his team-mate in third, the German – along with Kimi Raikkonen in the second Ferrari – four tenths off the top spot.
Suffering for scruffy laps, Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen could only manage a fairly distant fifth and seventh quickest respectively, with Nico Hulkenberg in the Force India splitting them in a strong sixth place, the trio just under a second off the pace.
Valtteri Bottas led Williams' challenge in eighth position, with Carlos Sainz and Fernando Alonso defying Toro Rosso and McLaren's apparent disadvantage in a straight line to make up enough time in the corners to place ninth and tenth.
Further back, home hopes Sergio Perez and Esteban Gutierrez had difficult sessions for Force India and Haas, the pair well down the order in 15th and 22nd. There was also more mechanical trouble for Haas when Romain Grosjean spent much of his session on the sidelines due to an ERS issue on the VF16.
MEXICAN GP: Six things to watch out for in Mexico City!
Latest Tweets from Crash.net & GPF1rst