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F1 Mexican GP: Verstappen goes clear in busy Mexico FP3

Max Verstappen tops the timesheets in final practice for the Mexican Grand Prix but traffic disguises the true form of Mercedes and Ferrari.
Mexican Grand Prix - Free practice results (3)

Max Verstappen has topped the final free practice session ahead of qualifying for the Mexican Grand Prix as traffic woes around the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez disguised the true form for many of the leading runners.

Seemingly the only driver to get an entirely clean run on the super-soft tyres, Verstappen nonetheless demonstrated an impressive overnight step forward for Red Bull by stopping the clock at 1min 19.137secs, nosing ahead of Lewis Hamilton by just under a tenth.

Indeed, Hamilton appeared quickest in clear air for Mercedes only to come up against traffic around the compact circuit in a busy final few minutes.

However, it is an argument that could be levelled at a number of the front runners, including Daniel Ricciardo in third and Nico Rosberg in fourth, ensuring qualifying could prove closer and more unpredictable than in recent races.

BREAKING POINT: These F1 races really push drivers and cars to the limit

Even so, title leader Rosberg might feel some pressure coming into qualifying having struggled to hook up his best laps so far this weekend, the German running off track at Turn 12 coming into the Stadium section as he chased down his more team-mate's time.

It was an error mirrored by FP2 pace setters Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen, the pair unable to show their Ferrari form as they got muddled up with other cars en route to sixth and seventh, behind fifth place Valtteri Bottas.

With Felipe Massa making a stride up the order to set the eighth fastest time, Williams appear to have form that could upset the leaders come qualifying, and at least put it ahead of Force India, which was ninth and 11th in the order of Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez, split by the Toro Rosso of Carlos Sainz.

Fernando Alonso once more headed McLaren-Honda's challenge in 13th, with Jenson Button 15th, the pair split by the Renault of Jolyon Palmer, while local favourite Esteban Gutierrez was 17th as the best placed Haas driver.

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



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