With the 2017 Formula 1 world championship title in his grasp, Lewis Hamilton gave an ominous warning to rival Sebastian Vettel by producing his “best ever” Ultra-Soft run of the year in free practice despite a first lap spin in FP2.

Hamilton’s afternoon session stalled early on when he spun off at turn 11 on his opening flying lap on the Super-Soft tyres but after returning to track action on the purple-banded Ultra-Soft tyres, the Mercedes driver notched up remarkably consistent lap times to demonstrate dominant race pace.

As a result, Hamilton is relishing the Mexican Grand Prix knowing he needs a minimum of fifth place to wrap up a fourth F1 world title.

“It's been a good day today but it didn't really start out great, particularly in the second session with the big spin on my first lap,” Hamilton said. “That really threw off the session and obviously made it a little bit tricky to get the run on the Super-Soft so I put myself on the back foot.

“But the single lap and then the long run on the Ultra-Soft was probably one of the best I've ever done. I don't think I've ever done 26 laps that consistent, apart from in the race maybe.

“We got lots of information, the track was feeling better in the second session once the temperature came up.”

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