Verstappen tops close final Mexican practice

2017 Mexican Grand Prix third practice

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Max Verstappen was quickest in the final practice session for the Mexican Grand Prix, ahead of Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel.

The Red Bull driver lowered a new track record of a 1’17.113 to set the pace, just 0.075s ahead of Hamilton and 0.117s faster than Vettel.

It was a cool but clear start to the final practice session in Mexico City as teams prepared for the upcoming qualifying.

There was early drama for Pierre Gasly, who pulled off track in the stadium section on his first flying lap of the day after suffering an apparent engine problem.

The braking zone for Turn One proved difficult once again, with Nico Hulkenberg, Carlos Sainz Jr and Kevin Magnussen all locking up under heavy retardation.

Only 0.117s separated Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel at the top of the timing screens before the field ventured out for their qualifying simulation runs at the end of the session.

There were no improvements at the front of the field, however, leaving Verstappen and Red Bull on top of the time sheets ahead of this afternoon’s qualifying session.

Pos. No. Driver Car Best lap Gap Laps
1 33 Max Verstappen Red Bull-TAG Heuer 1’17.113 20
2 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1’17.188 0.075 23
3 5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1’17.230 0.117 21
4 77 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1’17.283 0.170 18
5 3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-TAG Heuer 1’17.361 0.248 10
6 7 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1’17.517 0.404 27
7 11 Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1’18.040 0.927 20
8 31 Esteban Ocon Force India-Mercedes 1’18.165 1.052 18
9 55 Carlos Sainz Jnr Renault 1’18.208 1.095 21
10 27 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1’18.380 1.267 21
11 28 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso-Renault 1’18.602 1.489 23
12 19 Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1’18.690 1.577 23
13 18 Lance Stroll Williams-Mercedes 1’19.066 1.953 20
14 20 Kevin Magnussen Haas-Ferrari 1’19.205 2.092 19
15 9 Marcus Ericsson Sauber-Ferrari 1’19.331 2.218 27
16 14 Fernando Alonso McLaren-Honda 1’19.565 2.452 22
17 8 Romain Grosjean Haas-Ferrari 1’19.586 2.473 22
18 94 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber-Ferrari 1’19.826 2.713 16
19 2 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren-Honda 1’20.030 2.917 25
20 10 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso-Renault

Third practice visual gaps

Max Verstappen – 1’17.113

+0.075 Lewis Hamilton – 1’17.188

+0.117 Sebastian Vettel – 1’17.230

+0.170 Valtteri Bottas – 1’17.283

+0.248 Daniel Ricciardo – 1’17.361

+0.404 Kimi Raikkonen – 1’17.517

+0.927 Sergio Perez – 1’18.040

+1.052 Esteban Ocon – 1’18.165

+1.095 Carlos Sainz Jnr – 1’18.208

+1.267 Nico Hulkenberg – 1’18.380

+1.489 Brendon Hartley – 1’18.602

+1.577 Felipe Massa – 1’18.690

+1.953 Lance Stroll – 1’19.066

+2.092 Kevin Magnussen – 1’19.205

+2.218 Marcus Ericsson – 1’19.331

+2.452 Fernando Alonso – 1’19.565

+2.473 Romain Grosjean – 1’19.586

+2.713 Pascal Wehrlein – 1’19.826

+2.917 Stoffel Vandoorne – 1’20.030

Drivers more then ten seconds off the pace omitted.

Combined practice times

Pos Driver Car FP1 FP2 FP3 Fri/Sat diff Total laps
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull-TAG Heuer 1’18.395 1’17.964 1’17.113 -0.851 53
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1’18.290 1’17.932 1’17.188 -0.744 98
3 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1’18.586 1’18.051 1’17.230 -0.821 84
4 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1’17.824 1’18.299 1’17.283 -0.541 103
5 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-TAG Heuer 1’18.421 1’17.801 1’17.361 -0.44 64
6 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1’19.008 1’18.142 1’17.517 -0.625 94
7 Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1’19.240 1’18.728 1’18.040 -0.688 82
8 Esteban Ocon Force India-Mercedes 1’18.822 1’18.165 -0.657 60
9 Carlos Sainz Jnr Renault 1’19.554 1’19.060 1’18.208 -0.852 75
10 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1’19.552 1’18.775 1’18.380 -0.395 59
11 Fernando Alonso McLaren-Honda 1’19.346 1’18.508 1’19.565 +1.057 68
12 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso-Renault 1’21.747 1’19.423 1’18.602 -0.821 73
13 Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1’19.443 1’19.206 1’18.690 -0.516 92
14 Lance Stroll Williams-Mercedes 1’19.772 1’19.524 1’19.066 -0.458 96
15 Kevin Magnussen Haas-Ferrari 1’20.644 1’20.318 1’19.205 -1.113 70
16 Marcus Ericsson Sauber-Ferrari 1’20.362 1’19.331 -1.031 65
17 Romain Grosjean Haas-Ferrari 1’25.526 1’19.586 -5.94 25
18 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber-Ferrari 1’20.971 1’20.306 1’19.826 -0.48 84
19 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren-Honda 1’19.844 1’20.030 +0.186 60
20 Antonio Giovinazzi Haas-Ferrari 1’21.269 26
21 Charles Leclerc Sauber-Ferrari 1’21.446 28
22 Sean Gelael Toro Rosso-Renault 1’21.639 29
23 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso-Renault 1’21.745 12
24 Alfonso Celis Force India-Mercedes 1’22.342 17

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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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11 comments on “Verstappen tops close final Mexican practice”

  1. Top 3 all within .25s? Wow. Of course, 2 are Red Bulls, so will be a bit further away in qualifying, but still.

  2. A motorsports fan
    28th October 2017, 17:13

    too bad that gap to mercedes is not big enough to cater for the mercedes/ferrari qualifying engine mode … would be nice to see max on pole for the first time.

    1. Probably Max would already have some poles if not for that Merc/Fer qualifying mode.

      1. But this time you can’t say it’s impossible. Wouldn’t be surprised to see Max’s first pole this weekend or maybe Daniel has a perfect lap. Would love to see that.

    2. Even with the qualifying mode, in particular the one from Mercedes, I would not count out Max just yet, or even Ricciardo if he manages to pull one of his special laps.
      Of course I think it is less likely than an Hamilton, or even, Vettel, pole, but Red Bull (particularly Max) might do it.

      1. Given that he has to take an engine penalty anyway, it wouldn’t make any difference if he did.

  3. Top 3 in the race (1.Ham 2.Vet 3. Ver) Or (1.Ham 2. Ver 3. vet)? I just don’t know

  4. Bottas drives into Lewis. Verstsppen into kimI. Dan and vettel slug it out till the end. That would be a perfect race dsy

  5. Not very sporting of me, but I would love see Vettel win the race and Lewis finish without points. Just want the fight to go a bit longer. Good for F1.

    1. Yep, not very sporting Mich!

  6. Brendon Hartley is 13! Good…

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