Max Verstappen led Red Bull to a one-two finish in opening practice for the Mexican Grand Prix on Friday, finishing half a second clear of Formula 1 teammate Daniel Ricciardo.

On a weekend where teams are required to run a high downforce setup requirements due to the high altitude in Mexico City, both Red Bull drivers managed to immediately impress in opening practice, finishing over a second clear of the rest of the field.

Driver Ratings - United States GP

Running on the Hypersoft compound tyres, Verstappen managed to lead the majority of the session, eventually turning in a fastest lap time of 1m16.656s for Red Bull.

Verstappen did sit over a second clear of teammate Ricciardo at one stage, only for the Australian to improve with his second flying lap on his set of Hypersofts, allowing him to cut the gap to 0.483 seconds.

Renault managed to emerge as Red Bull’s closest challenger in FP1 as Carlos Sainz Jr. and Nico Hulkenberg completed running on the Hypersoft tyre, allowing them to take third and fourth place respectively, both finishing over a second down on Verstappen’s benchmark.

Lewis Hamilton took fifth place for Mercedes, 1.4 seconds behind Verstappen, but completed his fastest lap times on the Ultrasoft tyres, suggesting there will be more time to be found later in the weekend.

Hamilton reported a number of power drops on his car throughout FP1, with Mercedes confirming it would review the issue at the end of the session. His teammate, Valtteri Bottas, took sixth place, having also completed his fastest run on Ultrasofts.

Hamilton’s sole title rival, Sebastian Vettel, could only finish seventh for Ferrari as he also favoured the Ultrasofts for much of the session, ending up two seconds off Verstappen’s time. Kimi Raikkonen took eighth in the sister Ferrari, a further two-tenths of a second behind.

Brendon Hartley managed to lead Toro Rosso to ninth place despite struggling with traffic on multiple occasions in the session, prompting the New Zealander to call out “a bunch of amateurs” and call Sauber stand-in Antonio Giovinazzi “an idiot.”

Nicholas Latifi impressed in his first FP1 appearance since Russia to finish 10th for Force India, edging out teammate for the session Sergio Perez in 11th. Latifi will hand the car back to regular driver Esteban Ocon for the remainder of the weekend.

Giovinazzi took 12th for Sauber as he continued his preparation for a race seat in 2019, leading from Romain Grosjean and Marcus Ericsson. Lando Norris wound up 15th for McLaren in his latest FP1 appearance, but was fortunate not to run into the back of Latifi in the closing minutes of the session at Turn 10 after a near-miss.

Stoffel Vandoorne finished 16th in the second McLaren ahead of Haas’ Kevin Magnussen, while Williams drivers Sergey Sirotkin and Lance Stroll took 18th and 19th. Pierre Gasly propped up the standings after failing to set a lap time, having managed only two installation laps before undergoing a planned power unit change.