Bottas breaks track record in opening session

2017 Mexican Grand Prix first practice

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Valtteri Bottas set the pace in the first practice session for the Mexican Grand Prix, breaking the previous track record as he did.

The Mercedes driver beat the previous record, set by his team mate Lewis Hamilton last year, by over eight-tenths of a second on the ultra-soft tyres. The pair ended the session one-two, separated by less than half a second.

Mexican Grand Prix practice in pictures
Their closest rivals didn’t run on the ultra-soft tyres during the first session. Max Verstappen was the quickest of them, lapping just over half a second slower using the super-soft tyres. There was little to separate him from his Red Bull team mate, the pair covered by less than three-hundredths of a second.

The Ferrari pair were next, Sebastian Vettel ahead of Kimi Raikkonen, the latter spinning in the second half of the session. He ended up pointing the wrong way at the same time Force India’s test driver Alfonso Celis had a crash of his own.

Celis hit the wall at turn 17, spinning backwards into the barrier and causing rear damage to the VJM10 which will be raced by Es teban Ocon. That brought out the red flags while the track was cleared.

Sergio Perez in the other Force India was the quickest driver outside the ‘big six’. Fernando Alonso, who was told during the sesison he had strong pace, came eighth. However the other McLaren was confined to the pits after the team discovered a problem on his car.

Another driver who hit trouble during the session was Brendon Hartley when his Toro Rosso’s power unit failed. He was able to restart the engine using the MGU-K and returned back to the pits but did not run any further.

Pos. No. Driver Car Best lap Gap Laps
1 77 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1’17.824 42
2 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1’18.290 0.466 35
3 33 Max Verstappen Red Bull-TAG Heuer 1’18.395 0.571 16
4 3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-TAG Heuer 1’18.421 0.597 28
5 5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1’18.586 0.762 28
6 7 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1’19.008 1.184 27
7 11 Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1’19.240 1.416 21
8 14 Fernando Alonso McLaren-Honda 1’19.346 1.522 20
9 19 Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1’19.443 1.619 32
10 27 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1’19.552 1.728 19
11 55 Carlos Sainz Jnr Renault 1’19.554 1.730 24
12 18 Lance Stroll Williams-Mercedes 1’19.772 1.948 34
13 20 Kevin Magnussen Haas-Ferrari 1’20.644 2.820 16
14 94 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber-Ferrari 1’20.971 3.147 30
15 50 Antonio Giovinazzi Haas-Ferrari 1’21.269 3.445 26
16 37 Charles Leclerc Sauber-Ferrari 1’21.446 3.622 28
17 38 Sean Gelael Toro Rosso-Renault 1’21.639 3.815 29
18 28 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso-Renault 1’21.747 3.923 10
19 34 Alfonso Celis Force India-Mercedes 1’22.342 4.518 17

First practice visual gaps

Valtteri Bottas – 1’17.824

+0.466 Lewis Hamilton – 1’18.290

+0.571 Max Verstappen – 1’18.395

+0.597 Daniel Ricciardo – 1’18.421

+0.762 Sebastian Vettel – 1’18.586

+1.184 Kimi Raikkonen – 1’19.008

+1.416 Sergio Perez – 1’19.240

+1.522 Fernando Alonso – 1’19.346

+1.619 Felipe Massa – 1’19.443

+1.728 Nico Hulkenberg – 1’19.552

+1.730 Carlos Sainz Jnr – 1’19.554

+1.948 Lance Stroll – 1’19.772

+2.820 Kevin Magnussen – 1’20.644

+3.147 Pascal Wehrlein – 1’20.971

+3.445 Antonio Giovinazzi – 1’21.269

+3.622 Charles Leclerc – 1’21.446

+3.815 Sean Gelael – 1’21.639

+3.923 Brendon Hartley – 1’21.747

+4.518 Alfonso Celis – 1’22.342

Drivers more then ten seconds off the pace omitted.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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25 comments on “Bottas breaks track record in opening session”

  1. Hartley slower than Gelael? Did he have a a problem or?

    1. Hartley had an engine problem and could only manage 10 laps, including a run with the halo. But Gelael’s pace during his long run was comparable to Verstappen’s.

      1. Haha, course it was

      2. Comparable to Jos Verstappen’s pace?

    2. It was one tenth in FP1, so I don’t think it’s anything to draw a comparison from

  2. Bottas logged 42 laps, that’s a lot of laps.

  3. Nice finally bottas has returned to the form he should be in

    1. Times don’t tell the whole story as he set his time before the red flag whereas others had to do theirs after. Still it is nice to see him top a session and it’s a solid session from him. If he can get pole or at least fight for it at the last few races it would really help him for 2018.

    2. I don’t think Bottas has returned to form. I think Lewis has backed off now that the championship is more or less wrapped up, like he admitted to doing 2015.

      1. Lewis didn’t back off at the end of 2015, he just said he did. It was all part of the mind games he and Nico played on each other. He wanted Nico’s wins seem less deserved. Lewis is not the kind of driver who would just back off because he has already won the championship. He wants to win every race. He won’t settle for 2nd place if he has a chance to win.

        1. digitalrurouni
          27th October 2017, 19:04

          Gonna have to disagree with you there with all due respect. His whole jetsetting lifestyle took a bigger jump more than usual and his partying cause him to crash his one of a kind 760LH Pagani in Monaco as well. And if you look from 2015 to 2016 Nico just about destroyed him in 7 races back to back. He had totally let off on the gas.

        2. @retardedf1sh

          I also disagree… I’ve always admired lewis’s ability to back off on a final race where he has already taken then championship. Of course he could be playing games…

          The complete opposite of vettel… who would go for a fastest lap on the last lap…

          I respect both traits, for different reasons.

  4. Michael Brown (@)
    27th October 2017, 18:00

    How do top speeds compare to 2016?

    1. A bit slower at the moment. Bottas did 354 kph. I can’t find the speed trap from last year’s FP, but qualifying was 365 and the race 371.

      1. More drag this year i dont think we shall see high top speed this year but you never know

    2. @mbr-9 Sorry this is unrelated to F1, but I can’t help but notice that you’re a fellow Danganronpa fan. :)

      1. Michael Brown (@)
        27th October 2017, 23:29

        @neuronstar Nice to meet you, too! There should be a racing driver in the next game, if there is one.

  5. When Bottas is “fast” it’s obvious everyone else is sandbagging!

  6. Already in FP1 almost a second faster than last season’s pole time.

  7. Here’s a thought. In the race, BOT P1; Lewis P2 and Vettel right up Hamilton’s gearbox in P3. BOT slower of the two Mercs, compromising Hamilton who is under threat from VET behind who you know is going to leave no prisoners, but at the same time you know all you need is P5. Meanwhile, VERS, RIC and Kimi are on alternative 2/3 stop strategies and are catching the leading trio at close to a second a lap. You’re Toto Wolff/Lauda. What call would you make?

    1. I would call Jennifer Lawrence and ask her for a date.

      1. hahaha, +1000. I just dropped my coffee. nice one.

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