Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2019

Leclerc leads late Ferrari run to one-two in damp session

2019 Mexican Grand Prix third practice

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Charles Leclerc led a one-two for Ferrari in the final practice session for the Mexican Grand Prix.

The two SF90s surged to the top of the times with their final laps in a session which had been disrupted by damp conditions. The first slick tyre runs only began with 15 minutes remaining. Leclerc produced a 1’16.145 to heads the times, just two-hundredths of a second ahead of Sebastian Vettel.

They relegated the Mercedes pair to third and fourth, Valtteri Bottas only a tenth of a second away from Leclerc. He complained about being held up by one of the Red Bulls at the end of the session.

With so many drivers attempting to set quick times at the end of the session, traffic problems were inevitable. Max Verstappen looked on course for a rapid lap at the end of the session before the Red Bull driver was forced to back off in the middle of the lap. “Unbelievable” he exclaimed as he headed for the pits.

That aborted lap for Verstappen meant he ended the session behind Carlos Sainz Jnr. Both McLaren drivers looked quick, Sainz briefly heading the times in the final minutes, and Lando Norris endingthe session in ninth place behind Alexander Albon.

Despite suffering the effects of a virus, Pierre Gasly managed 10 laps in his Toro Rosso and set the seventh-fastest time. Sergio Perez completed the top 10 in front of his home crowd.

Neither Renault driver set a time in the final hour of running. The team found a leak on Daniel Ricciardo’s power unit, and in the course of investigating it found the cooling system had become polluted. The same problem was then identified on Nico HUlkenberg’s car, meaning neither driver could run.

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Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
116Charles LeclercFerrari1’16.14514
25Sebastian VettelFerrari1’16.1720.02711
377Valtteri BottasMercedes1’16.2590.11418
444Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’16.3810.23616
555Carlos Sainz JnrMcLaren-Renault1’16.6380.49314
633Max VerstappenRed Bull-Honda1’16.9030.75812
710Pierre GaslyToro Rosso-Honda1’17.0900.94510
823Alexander AlbonRed Bull-Honda1’17.0940.94919
94Lando NorrisMcLaren-Renault1’17.1461.00111
1011Sergio PerezRacing Point-Mercedes1’17.2071.06210
1126Daniil KvyatToro Rosso-Honda1’17.5291.38414
127Kimi RaikkonenAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’17.7401.59519
1318Lance StrollRacing Point-Mercedes1’17.8661.7218
1499Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’17.8811.7368
1520Kevin MagnussenHaas-Ferrari1’18.1321.98712
168Romain GrosjeanHaas-Ferrari1’18.5272.38214
1763George RussellWilliams-Mercedes1’20.9654.82013
1888Robert KubicaWilliams-Mercedes1’22.0025.85713
1927Nico HulkenbergRenault
203Daniel RicciardoRenault

Third practice visual gaps

Charles Leclerc – 1’16.145

+0.027 Sebastian Vettel – 1’16.172

+0.114 Valtteri Bottas – 1’16.259

+0.236 Lewis Hamilton – 1’16.381

+0.493 Carlos Sainz Jnr – 1’16.638

+0.758 Max Verstappen – 1’16.903

+0.945 Pierre Gasly – 1’17.090

+0.949 Alexander Albon – 1’17.094

+1.001 Lando Norris – 1’17.146

+1.062 Sergio Perez – 1’17.207

+1.384 Daniil Kvyat – 1’17.529

+1.595 Kimi Raikkonen – 1’17.740

+1.721 Lance Stroll – 1’17.866

+1.736 Antonio Giovinazzi – 1’17.881

+1.987 Kevin Magnussen – 1’18.132

+2.382 Romain Grosjean – 1’18.527

+4.820 George Russell – 1’20.965

+5.857 Robert Kubica – 1’22.002

Drivers more then ten seconds off the pace omitted.

PosDriverCarFP1FP2FP3Fri/Sat diffTotal laps
1Charles LeclercFerrari1’17.4461’17.0721’16.145-0.92771
2Sebastian VettelFerrari1’18.2181’16.6071’16.172-0.43566
3Valtteri BottasMercedes1’18.0051’17.2211’16.259-0.96282
4Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’17.3271’17.5701’16.381-0.94676
5Carlos Sainz JnrMcLaren-Renault1’18.4011’18.0791’16.638-1.44173
6Max VerstappenRed Bull-Honda1’17.4611’16.7221’16.903+0.18166
7Pierre GaslyToro Rosso-Honda1’18.5931’18.0031’17.090-0.91372
8Alexander AlbonRed Bull-Honda1’17.9491’21.6651’17.094-0.85545
9Lando NorrisMcLaren-Renault1’19.2991’18.3491’17.146-1.20370
10Sergio PerezRacing Point-Mercedes1’19.7171’18.3661’17.207-1.15967
11Daniil KvyatToro Rosso-Honda1’18.8351’17.7471’17.529-0.21881
12Kimi RaikkonenAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’19.2051’18.6811’17.740-0.94178
13Lance StrollRacing Point-Mercedes1’19.6791’18.3621’17.866-0.49667
14Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’18.9591’18.8891’17.881-1.00876
15Kevin MagnussenHaas-Ferrari1’19.0131’19.3061’18.132-0.88171
16Nico HulkenbergRenault1’19.0111’18.26146
17Daniel RicciardoRenault1’19.4991’18.38057
18Romain GrosjeanHaas-Ferrari1’19.8501’18.7661’18.527-0.23973
19George RussellWilliams-Mercedes1’20.5481’19.9681’20.965+0.99775
20Robert KubicaWilliams-Mercedes1’20.1801’22.002+1.82250
21Nicholas LatifiWilliams-Mercedes1’21.56630

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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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4 comments on “Leclerc leads late Ferrari run to one-two in damp session”

  1. Any driver because of whom Max had to back off? As usual sports have dropped FP sessions in favour of football.

    1. Any guess?

      Yes, it was Giovinazzi.

  2. Have to say, I was surprised with the Mercs. They trimmed some downforce to give them a chance on the straights, Shirley?

  3. I can’t get over how slow Williams is… Do they even have money to compete next year?

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