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McLaren challenge Red Bull for top spot in rain-hit Mexican Grand Prix practice

McLaren challenge Red Bull for top spot in rain-hit Mexican Grand Prix practice

F1 News

McLaren challenge Red Bull for top spot in rain-hit Mexican Grand Prix practice

McLaren challenge Red Bull for top spot in rain-hit Mexican Grand Prix practice

Max Verstappen once again topped practice at the Mexican Grand Prix, building on his FP1 performance by taking first place in a rain-affected FP2.

He finished 0.119 seconds ahead of second-place Lando Norris, with McLaren providing yet more evidence that they now have a car that's capable of challenging for the front row at most races.

Ferrari's Charles Leclerc, fresh from the disappointment of a post-race disqualification last weekend, managed to post a time good enough for third, ahead of Valtteri Bottas in the Alfa Romeo.

Red Bull show their strength

Most of the fans at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez will be pleased to hear that Red Bull are once again on top, as they hope that their home-boy Perez can give them a weekend to remember.

The Mexican has struggled to keep up with his world champion team-mate so far this season, but this particular race would be the ideal time for him to pull a third race win of the season out of the bag, with Saturday qualifying being crucial to his chances.

Last weekend at the United States GP, Perez could only qualify ninth, whilst Verstappen was penalised for track limits, and lined up in sixth.

Red Bull have once again looked supreme early on at the Mexican Grand Prix, with Sergio Perez in his home race
Valtteri Bottas would have surprised a few with his fourth-place finish in FP2 at the Mexican GP
Alex Albon has showed good pace in his Williams during Friday practice at the Mexican Grand Prix

Those particular issues in qualifying in Austin didn't make too much of a difference, however, as Verstappen cruised to victory in both the sprint race, and Sunday's main race.

However, a stronger start to this weekend will give the three-time world champion even more confidence that he can claim a 31st career pole position on Saturday.

Mercedes struggle to find time

Having been off the pace in FP1 with the pairing of Lewis Hamilton and Formula 1 rookie Frederik Vesti, Toto Wolff had been upbeat about the weekend, suggesting that Hamilton 'would have been P2/P3' without a small mistake he made on his quickest lap.

However, with George Russell rejoining his seven-time world champion team-mate, the times didn't seem to improve. Hamilton could only manage seventh, 0.338 seconds off the pace of Verstappen, whilst Russell was down in 10th.

They will need to seriously improve if they want to challenge the likes of McLaren, Ferrari and, of course, Red Bull for pole position on Saturday.

Rain arrives in Mexico City

The track did start to get a little damp during FP2 at the Mexican Grand Prix

Early on in the session, a small amount of rain fell on the circuit, providing a slightly more greasy surface than drivers and teams were expecting.

Due to the very high temperatures and high altitude at the track, the rain didn't cause too many problems and nobody decided to switch onto intermediate or wet tyres, but it did lead to a scare for Lando Norris, who experienced a bit of a slide.

The rain did then return towards the end of the session too, meaning that some teams' long runs were affected slightly.

The rest of the weekend is expected to stay warm and dry at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.

Mexican Grand Prix FP2 practice results - Friday October 27th

1. Max Verstappen (Red Bull): 1:18.686s

2. Lando Norris (McLaren): +0.119s

3. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari): +0.266s

4. Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo): +0.269s

5. Sergio Perez (Red Bull): +0.302s

6. Daniel Ricciardo (AlphaTauri): +0.316s

7. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes): +0.338s

8. Esteban Ocon (Alpine): +0.391s

9. Oscar Piastri (McLaren): +0.477s

10. George Russell (Mercedes): +0.541s

11. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari): +0.571s

12. Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri): +0.604s

13. Zhou Guanyu (Alfa Romeo): +0.729s

14. Alex Albon (Williams): +0.760s

15. Nico Hulkenberg (Haas): +0.849s

16. Pierre Gasly (Alpine): +0.956s

17. Logan Sargeant (Williams): +1.214s

18. Lance Stroll (Aston Martin): +1.389s

19. Kevin Magnussen (Haas): +1.426s

20. Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin): +1.740s

READ MORE: F1 Results Today: Mexican Grand Prix practice times

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