Lance Stroll, Racing Point, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2019

Hamilton heads close first practice session as Stroll crashes

2019 Mexican Grand Prix first practice

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The top three teams were covered by one-tenth of a second as Lewis Hamilton led the first practice session for the Mexican Grand Prix.

The Mercedes driver set a best time of 1’17.327 on soft tyres after the session was restarted. The red flags flew after Lance Stroll crashes his Racing Point at turn 16, though he was able to drive back to the pits.

Charles Leclerc put in an encouraging performance for Ferrari, ending up a tenth of a second behind Hamilton despite using the harder medium compound tyres. Sebastian Vettel flat-spotted one set of tyres and lost time in traffic when preparing for one of his runs.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen found himself in the same queue of cars as Vettel and directed his frustration at Kevin Magnussen, who he blamed for holding the queue up. When he got a clear lap in he also ended up a tenth of a second shy of Hamilton, albeit on soft tyres. Alexander Albon backed him up in fourth, but was almost half a second slower.

Behind the usual top six cars Carlos Sainz Jnr took an increasingly familiar seventh place. The McLaren driver was evaluating a new element his engineer described as a “brake duct wing” on his MCL34.

The Toro Rosso pair were next, despite spending the whole session on medium tyres. Daniil Kvyat complained of poor rear balance in his STR14.

Antonio Giovinazzi’s Alfa Romeo completed the top 10. Kimi Raikkonen was 13th in the team’s other car, the pair separated by the quickest Renault and Haas: Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen respectively.

Nicholas Latifi returned to practice duty for Williams at the wheel of Robert Kubica’s FW42. He ended the session just over a second slower than George Russell.

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Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
144Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’17.32725
216Charles LeclercFerrari1’17.4460.11923
333Max VerstappenRed Bull-Honda1’17.4610.13417
423Alexander AlbonRed Bull-Honda1’17.9490.62221
577Valtteri BottasMercedes1’18.0050.67825
65Sebastian VettelFerrari1’18.2180.89120
755Carlos Sainz JnrMcLaren-Renault1’18.4011.07421
810Pierre GaslyToro Rosso-Honda1’18.5931.26623
926Daniil KvyatToro Rosso-Honda1’18.8351.50827
1099Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’18.9591.63222
1127Nico HulkenbergRenault1’19.0111.68422
1220Kevin MagnussenHaas-Ferrari1’19.0131.68622
137Kimi RaikkonenAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’19.2051.87822
144Lando NorrisMcLaren-Renault1’19.2991.97223
153Daniel RicciardoRenault1’19.4992.17223
1618Lance StrollRacing Point-Mercedes1’19.6792.35221
1711Sergio PerezRacing Point-Mercedes1’19.7172.39023
188Romain GrosjeanHaas-Ferrari1’19.8502.52322
1963George RussellWilliams-Mercedes1’20.5483.22126
2040Nicholas LatifiWilliams-Mercedes1’21.5664.23930

First practice visual gaps

Lewis Hamilton – 1’17.327

+0.119 Charles Leclerc – 1’17.446

+0.134 Max Verstappen – 1’17.461

+0.622 Alexander Albon – 1’17.949

+0.678 Valtteri Bottas – 1’18.005

+0.891 Sebastian Vettel – 1’18.218

+1.074 Carlos Sainz Jnr – 1’18.401

+1.266 Pierre Gasly – 1’18.593

+1.508 Daniil Kvyat – 1’18.835

+1.632 Antonio Giovinazzi – 1’18.959

+1.684 Nico Hulkenberg – 1’19.011

+1.686 Kevin Magnussen – 1’19.013

+1.878 Kimi Raikkonen – 1’19.205

+1.972 Lando Norris – 1’19.299

+2.172 Daniel Ricciardo – 1’19.499

+2.352 Lance Stroll – 1’19.679

+2.390 Sergio Perez – 1’19.717

+2.523 Romain Grosjean – 1’19.850

+3.221 George Russell – 1’20.548

+4.239 Nicholas Latifi – 1’21.566

Drivers more then ten seconds off the pace omitted.

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2019 Mexican Grand Prix

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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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5 comments on “Hamilton heads close first practice session as Stroll crashes”

  1. Vest 3 drivers in F1 currently by a silly amount, Hamilton Leclerc Vestappen, take ya pick race to race it can change. The early Lewis Hamilton aint getting beaten by many drivers atall, Alonso 07 ability is better than Ves and Leclerc. But these drivers are the best 3 in F1, incredible feat that Hamilton is with these young guns. No Lewis Hamilton the last few years we have the most open title races ever, Lewis my king i love you

    1. Leclerc hasn’t shown me anything to suggest he’s as good as Verstappen or Hamilton IMO. He’s doing well against Vettel but so did Ricciardo….

      1. @petebaldwin Would love to see Ricciardo in that second Ferrari. Next to Leclerc.

        1. Or Verstappen. Can you imagine the fireworks?!

  2. I know this is just a fp session but you can see the real values being resembled, the number 1 drivers of each top team, hamilton, leclerc and verstappen, being ahead and the number 2 being far behind, close to each other but far from the number 1 who were very close to each other.

    I don’t care about de-facto number 1 or not, vettel proved to be inferior to leclerc (and ricciardo), hamilton proved to be superior to all drivers he got paired with except alonso, verstappen proved to be superior to all drivers he got paired with, accounting for a bit of experience.

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