Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2016

Verstappen tops final Mexican practice

2016 Mexican Grand Prix third practice

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Max Verstappen was quickest in final practice ahead of qualifying for the Mexican Grand Prix, less than a tenth faster than Lewis Hamilton.

Daniel Ricciardo was third fastest in the second Red Bull, with championship leader Nico Rosberg in fourth, almost half a second slower than Verstappen.

The Ferraris of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen set almost identical fastest times, but were eight tenths off the ultimate pace in sixth and seventh, respectively.

Conditions were again cool, with air temperature only reaching 14 degrees Celsius. Esteban Gutierrez was heard over team radio complaining of being unable to get heat into his front tyres.

Traffic was an issue in the closing stages, with multiple drivers complaining of being held up by rivals who were attempting to make space for themselves in the final sector.

With all 22 drivers on circuit running qualifying simulations on super soft tyres, Max Verstappen lowered what would be the fastest time of the session – and the quickest ever lap around the revised Mexico City circuit – with a 1’19.137.

Rosberg, Raikkonen, Vettel and Jenson Button all made errors during their final runs, costing them time.

Aside from a brief trip across the grass in Turn One for Felipe Massa, there was little incident of note in the session.

Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
133Max VerstappenRed Bull-TAG Heuer1’19.13716
244Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’19.2310.09423
33Daniel RicciardoRed Bull-TAG Heuer1’19.3700.23317
46Nico RosbergMercedes1’19.6180.48127
577Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes1’19.8110.67419
65Sebastian VettelFerrari1’19.9370.80016
77Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’19.9940.85716
819Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes1’19.9970.86022
927Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1’20.2551.11821
1055Carlos Sainz JnrToro Rosso-Ferrari1’20.3251.18822
1111Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes1’20.4721.33520
1226Daniil KvyatToro Rosso-Ferrari1’20.5861.44920
1314Fernando AlonsoMcLaren-Honda1’20.6001.46318
1430Jolyon PalmerRenault1’20.9591.82218
1522Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Honda1’21.1522.01519
169Marcus EricssonSauber-Ferrari1’21.2452.10821
1721Esteban GutierrezHaas-Ferrari1’21.3382.20116
1820Kevin MagnussenRenault1’21.3452.20817
198Romain GrosjeanHaas-Ferrari1’21.6012.46415
2094Pascal WehrleinManor-Mercedes1’21.7582.62123
2131Esteban OconManor-Mercedes1’21.9212.78422
2212Felipe NasrSauber-Ferrari1’22.3543.21718

Third practice visual gaps

Max Verstappen – 1’19.137

+0.094 Lewis Hamilton – 1’19.231

+0.233 Daniel Ricciardo – 1’19.370

+0.481 Nico Rosberg – 1’19.618

+0.674 Valtteri Bottas – 1’19.811

+0.800 Sebastian Vettel – 1’19.937

+0.857 Kimi Raikkonen – 1’19.994

+0.860 Felipe Massa – 1’19.997

+1.118 Nico Hulkenberg – 1’20.255

+1.188 Carlos Sainz Jnr – 1’20.325

+1.335 Sergio Perez – 1’20.472

+1.449 Daniil Kvyat – 1’20.586

+1.463 Fernando Alonso – 1’20.600

+1.822 Jolyon Palmer – 1’20.959

+2.015 Jenson Button – 1’21.152

+2.108 Marcus Ericsson – 1’21.245

+2.201 Esteban Gutierrez – 1’21.338

+2.208 Kevin Magnussen – 1’21.345

+2.464 Romain Grosjean – 1’21.601

+2.621 Pascal Wehrlein – 1’21.758

+2.784 Esteban Ocon – 1’21.921

+3.217 Felipe Nasr – 1’22.354

Combined practice times

PosDriverCarFP1FP2FP3Fri/Sat diffTotal laps
1Max VerstappenRed Bull-TAG Heuer1’22.8771’20.6191’19.137-1.48268
2Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’20.9141’19.7941’19.231-0.56394
3Daniel RicciardoRed Bull-TAG Heuer1’21.7271’20.4481’19.370-1.07887
4Nico RosbergMercedes1’21.6731’20.2251’19.618-0.607105
5Sebastian VettelFerrari1’20.9931’19.7901’19.937+0.14786
6Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes1’21.4471’20.6291’19.811-0.81894
7Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’21.0721’20.2591’19.994-0.26572
8Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes1’21.8361’21.3261’19.997-1.32998
9Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1’21.4091’20.5741’20.255-0.31987
10Carlos Sainz JnrToro Rosso-Ferrari1’22.5631’20.9741’20.325-0.649100
11Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes1’21.2001’21.5791’20.472-0.72884
12Daniil KvyatToro Rosso-Ferrari1’22.2151’21.1931’20.586-0.60788
13Fernando AlonsoMcLaren-Honda1’23.0891’21.0031’20.600-0.40368
14Jolyon PalmerRenault1’24.0971’21.7851’20.959-0.82697
15Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Honda1’23.3421’21.1981’21.152-0.04682
16Marcus EricssonSauber-Ferrari1’22.7231’21.9971’21.245-0.75280
17Esteban GutierrezHaas-Ferrari1’22.9101’22.4081’21.338-1.0772
18Kevin MagnussenRenault1’23.5561’21.4421’21.345-0.09788
19Romain GrosjeanHaas-Ferrari1’22.5001’22.1051’21.601-0.50450
20Pascal WehrleinManor-Mercedes1’24.3501’21.9801’21.758-0.22293
21Esteban OconManor-Mercedes1’24.0831’22.2981’21.921-0.37796
22Felipe NasrSauber-Ferrari1’23.0891’22.0371’22.354+0.31773

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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18 comments on “Verstappen tops final Mexican practice”

  1. Sky commentators couldn’t stop talking about traffic. Both the fastest times today were Verstappen’s. He must be incredibly lucky. ;-)

    1. The obsession in these comments with the quality of the Sky commentary seems to outweigh the Hamilton-obsession the posters accuse them of.

      It’s deliciously ironic.

      1. Not sure Hamilton figured anywhere in my comment?

  2. Verstappen tops final practice? Well, that’s decided for me who deserves the DOTD award come Sunday…

    1. “wacko the dildo” fastest in quali 3….Max still might drive in the pits to see his crew sitting on chairs again..but will win DOTD on this site

  3. Think this makes any predictions incredibly difficult. Wonder if track evolution played a part in this as well. On Softs it looked like RBR had the upper hand on Ferrari again. Kimi didn’t look quick at all. I’d say the only thing you can predict without too much risk is Hamilton on pole…

  4. The altitude is certainly mixing things up! Bring it on!

  5. Williams are looking a bit stronger compared to Force India than I expected.

  6. Vettel didn’t get a SS tyre lap, so expect him at the front. Kimi really struggling unfortunately

  7. Ultimate laptimes were:
    * VES 79.004
    * HAM 79.181
    * RIC 79.184
    * ROS 79.500

    VES mighty in the first 2 Ts. But I have no idea the traffic they encountered, on which lap in their stints, in which part of the track, and the relevance of their errors.

    1. @stefanauss – by “ultimate” do you mean the combination of their best sector times?

      It does appear that Q3 times can dip into the high 78 seconds.

      1. Yes, adding up each driver best sector times.

        I don’t know. It appears there’s the chance we will go into quali with temperatures in a range not really comparable to the runnings in FP1/2/3. Tyres could work entirely different.

  8. Is it just me or has Rosberg been looking out of sorts for this whole weekend so far?
    If he is, then he has picked the worst time for it to happen

    1. Tempting to hope he’s tightening up a bit. It’d be pretty normal for the pressure to be getting to him.

  9. Didn’t see final practice, but 2nd seemed like Hamilton was held up in both his fastest runs, was it the same here, or was Verstappen truly faster? Then qualifying might be a nail biter (unless Mercedes again has an extra gear for when it matters)

    1. Max got lucky and got in a relatively unhindered lap.
      Vettel dodnt even get a SS run….i suspect it will be Mercedes Ferrari red bull come qualifying.

      1. Max got lucky two times…? He did two fastest laps in a row… in traffic, after that he set his best first sector time when he got stopped by traffic. So generally speaking Verstappen could have been faster.

        Vettel didn’t have a clean run, but his sector times could not match Verstappen’s same goes for Hamilton.

        But surely we’ll expect the Merc’s on first row later on… that is if Rosberg can put it togehter he didn’t look that fast in FP3.

    2. Mercedes tune up their engine for Q3, so they will be ahead, surely.

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