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Mexican GP: Mercedes in front as Bottas dominates FP1

Mexican GP: Mercedes in front as Bottas dominates FP1

Valtteri Bottas beat Mercedes Formula 1 teammate Lewis Hamilton to the quickest time in opening practice session for the Mexican Grand Prix.

Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB13 and Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren MCL32
Grandstand and Track View
Nico Hulkenberg, Renault Sport F1 Team RS17
Lance Stroll, Williams FW40
Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG F1 W08
Brendon Hartley, Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12, stops on track in FP1, a marshal displays a yellow flag
Antonio Giovinazzi, Haas F1 Team VF-17
Brendon Hartley, Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12
Fernando Alonso, McLaren MCL32
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF70H
Alfonso Celis Jr., development driver, Sahara Force India F1 VJM10

Bottas clocked a 1m17.824s on the ultrasofts to finish 0.466s clear of Hamilton, with Red Bull's Max Verstappen a further tenth adrift in third.

Bottas set the early pace on the supersofts, clocking a 1m19.614s, only to be deposed by Verstappen on the softs by half a tenth.

Hamilton moved to the top of the timesheet briefly before Sebastian Vettel became the first driver to dip into the 1m18s with a 1m18.824s on the supersofts.

Mercedes then turned its attention to the ultrasofts, with Bottas going quickest with a 1m17.824s and following that up with a second lap just 0.012s slower.

His teammate Hamilton was 0.789s off on his first run on the ultra-softs, losing time in the final sector.

Next time around, the championship leader had a slow middle sector, but closed the gap to just under half a second.

Ferrari and Red Bull opted not to run the ultrasoft tyres, saving them for the second session, and instead did their running on either the supe-soft or soft.

Daniel Ricciardo was fourth quickest, 0.026s slower than Red Bull teammate Verstappen, with Vettel the leading Ferrari in fifth.

Kimi Raikkonen was sixth, four tenths slower than Vettel, with Sergio Perez using the ultrasofts to end the session seventh in front of his home crowd.

There was frustration for the other Force India when Alfonso Celis Jr crashed at the final corner to bring out the red flag.

Celis, who was borrowing Esteban Ocon's car for FP1, lost the rear on entry to the final corner and hit the wall on the outside with the left-rear, breaking the rear wing.

Fernando Alonso, who will take a 20-place grid penalty for Sunday's race after engine component changes, was eighth, with Felipe Massa and Nico Hulkenberg completing the top 10.

Kevin Magnussen spent most of the session in the garage after the team discovered a water leak but got out in the closing minutes to clock the 13th fastest time.

Pascal Wehrlein was an impressive 14th quickest, ahead of both Toro Rosso drivers and half a second ahead of teammate Charles Leclerc, who was stepping in for Marcus Ericsson.

Brendon Hartley stopped out on track reporting an engine problem and though he managed to get his Toro Rosso going again to return to the pits, he didn't complete any further running.

He was 18th fastest, a tenth adrift of Sean Gelael, who was standing in for Pierre Gasly for this session.

Stoffel Vandoorne failed to set a time after Honda detected a potential issue in his engine data.

It came after Honda completed a full engine change ahead of the session in a bid to have relatively fresh elements for the final two races of the season.

When Honda detected the problem during FP1, it decided to revert to an older specification from Vandoorne's pool, which means no further penalty, while it investigates the issue.

1 finland Valtteri Bottas  Mercedes Mercedes 42 1'17.824  
2 united_kingdom Lewis Hamilton  Mercedes Mercedes 35 1'18.290 0.466
3 netherlands Max Verstappen  Red Bull TAG 16 1'18.395 0.571
4 australia Daniel Ricciardo  Red Bull TAG 28 1'18.421 0.597
5 germany Sebastian Vettel  Ferrari Ferrari 28 1'18.586 0.762
6 finland Kimi Raikkonen  Ferrari Ferrari 27 1'19.008 1.184
7 mexico Sergio Perez  Force India Mercedes 21 1'19.240 1.416
8 spain Fernando Alonso  McLaren Honda 20 1'19.346 1.522
9 brazil Felipe Massa  Williams Mercedes 32 1'19.443 1.619
10 germany Nico Hulkenberg  Renault Renault 19 1'19.552 1.728
11 spain Carlos Sainz Jr.  Renault Renault 24 1'19.554 1.730
12 canada Lance Stroll  Williams Mercedes 34 1'19.772 1.948
13 denmark Kevin Magnussen  Haas Ferrari 16 1'20.644 2.820
14 germany Pascal Wehrlein  Sauber Ferrari 30 1'20.971 3.147
15 italy Antonio Giovinazzi  Haas Ferrari 26 1'21.269 3.445
16 monaco Charles Leclerc  Sauber Ferrari 28 1'21.446 3.622
17 indonesia Sean Gelael  Toro Rosso Renault 29 1'21.639 3.815
18 new_zealand Brendon Hartley  Toro Rosso Renault 10 1'21.747 3.923
19 mexico Alfonso Celis Jr.  Force India Mercedes 17 1'22.342 4.518
20 belgium Stoffel Vandoorne  McLaren Honda 3    
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