Sergio Perez, Red Bull, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2021

Perez on top as Red Bull extend lead over Mercedes in final practice

2021 Mexico City Grand Prix third practice

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Sergio Perez led a Red Bull one-two in the final practice session for the Mexico City Grand Prix, the team enjoying a comfortable lead over closest rivals Mercedes.

It took over five minutes for any cars to start running, but Yuki Tsunoda was the first driver to take to the track for the hour-long session. Lance Stroll and George Russell followed Tsunoda out on track, as cars and drivers slowly trickled out onto a track that was still quite dusty, oily, and slippery following the morning’s Freightliner GTM support series action.

It took over 20 minutes for most of the field to make their way on track, and by the halfway mark, every driver was now on track.

The lap times kept tumbling as the track improved. Max Verstappen set an early quickest of 1’17.537 in his Red Bull-Honda, getting within two tenths of his best lap from FP2. In the 37th minute, Verstappen set the fastest lap of the weekend with a 1’17.217, after five laps on his set of soft compound tyres.

With ten minutes left, Sergio Perez was able to get within a tenth of a second of his Red Bull team mate, setting a 1’17.272 to go to second place. The activity on track ramped up in the final 10 minutes, several drivers encountering traffic.

Perez finally brought the Saturday crowd to their feet, displacing Verstappen from first place with a 1’17.024. The two Red Bulls ended the session first and second, ahead of the two Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton in third, and Valtteri Bottas in fourth.

Carlos Sainz Jnr was best of the rest, fifth in his Ferrari. Tsunoda, one of four drivers who will start from the back of the grid due to power unit changes, was sixth in his AlphaTauri-Honda. Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris were seventh and tenth respectively, the two McLarens on either end of Pierre Gasly in eighth, and Charles Leclerc in ninth.

2021 Mexico City Grand Prix third practice result

Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
111Sergio PerezRed Bull-Honda1’17.02415
233Max VerstappenRed Bull-Honda1’17.2170.19312
344Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’17.6750.65114
477Valtteri BottasMercedes1’17.7080.68417
555Carlos Sainz JnrFerrari1’18.0291.00520
622Yuki TsunodaAlphaTauri-Honda1’18.0371.01325
73Daniel RicciardoMcLaren-Mercedes1’18.1211.09715
810Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri-Honda1’18.2021.17818
916Charles LeclercFerrari1’18.2131.18920
104Lando NorrisMcLaren-Mercedes1’18.3121.28816
1118Lance StrollAston Martin-Mercedes1’18.3521.32820
127Kimi RaikkonenAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’18.5311.50722
1399Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’18.5561.53219
145Sebastian VettelAston Martin-Mercedes1’18.6141.59017
1514Fernando AlonsoAlpine-Renault1’18.8471.82315
1631Esteban OconAlpine-Renault1’18.9991.97517
1763George RussellWilliams-Mercedes1’19.2112.18719
1847Mick SchumacherHaas-Ferrari1’19.2382.21414
196Nicholas LatifiWilliams-Mercedes1’19.3132.28912
209Nikita MazepinHaas-Ferrari1’20.4793.45515

Third practice visual gaps

Sergio Perez – 1’17.024

+0.193 Max Verstappen – 1’17.217

+0.651 Lewis Hamilton – 1’17.675

+0.684 Valtteri Bottas – 1’17.708

+1.005 Carlos Sainz Jnr – 1’18.029

+1.013 Yuki Tsunoda – 1’18.037

+1.097 Daniel Ricciardo – 1’18.121

+1.178 Pierre Gasly – 1’18.202

+1.189 Charles Leclerc – 1’18.213

+1.288 Lando Norris – 1’18.312

+1.328 Lance Stroll – 1’18.352

+1.507 Kimi Raikkonen – 1’18.531

+1.532 Antonio Giovinazzi – 1’18.556

+1.590 Sebastian Vettel – 1’18.614

+1.823 Fernando Alonso – 1’18.847

+1.975 Esteban Ocon – 1’18.999

+2.187 George Russell – 1’19.211

+2.214 Mick Schumacher – 1’19.238

+2.289 Nicholas Latifi – 1’19.313

+3.455 Nikita Mazepin – 1’20.479

Drivers more then ten seconds off the pace omitted.

PosDriverCarFP1FP2FP3Fri/Sat diffTotal laps
1Sergio PerezRed Bull-Honda1’18.6101’17.8711’17.024-0.84761
2Max VerstappenRed Bull-Honda1’18.4641’17.3011’17.217-0.08468
3Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’18.4171’17.8101’17.675-0.13564
4Valtteri BottasMercedes1’18.3411’17.7251’17.708-0.01776
5Carlos Sainz JnrFerrari1’19.4631’18.3181’18.029-0.28975
6Yuki TsunodaAlphaTauri-Honda1’20.0111’18.6441’18.037-0.60786
7Daniel RicciardoMcLaren-Mercedes1’20.2731’19.5211’18.121-1.447
8Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri-Honda1’18.9851’18.4291’18.202-0.22770
9Charles LeclercFerrari1’19.6671’18.6051’18.213-0.39268
10Lando NorrisMcLaren-Mercedes1’20.3011’18.9791’18.312-0.66769
11Lance StrollAston Martin-Mercedes1’20.0301’19.7301’18.352-1.37883
12Kimi RaikkonenAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’20.0261’18.8411’18.531-0.3173
13Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’20.3441’19.2271’18.556-0.67177
14Sebastian VettelAston Martin-Mercedes1’19.8581’18.6811’18.614-0.06776
15Fernando AlonsoAlpine-Renault1’19.6561’18.7321’18.847+0.11568
16Esteban OconAlpine-Renault1’19.7591’19.4311’18.999-0.43274
17George RussellWilliams-Mercedes1’20.5171’19.211-1.30644
18Mick SchumacherHaas-Ferrari1’22.1441’19.6201’19.238-0.38271
19Nicholas LatifiWilliams-Mercedes1’21.5801’20.8201’19.313-1.50752
20Nikita MazepinHaas-Ferrari1’22.8191’21.5811’20.479-1.10267

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2021 Mexico City Grand Prix

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Author information

RJ O'Connell
Motorsport has been a lifelong interest for RJ, both virtual and ‘in the carbon’, since childhood. RJ picked up motorsports writing as a hobby...

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7 comments on “Perez on top as Red Bull extend lead over Mercedes in final practice”

  1. That’s further proof that RB are the team to beat in Mexico. Considering Checo was fastest and Max set his time a lot earlier in the session on his first set of tyres, it doesn’t look good for Mercedes.

    Behind the championship contenders there’s a spicy fight brewing up between Ferrari, McLaren and Alpha Tauri. Too bad Norris and Tsunoda will start at the back, because of their PU penalties.

    Behind them there’s also a nice battle between Aston Martin (Vettel, because Stroll also has a penalty), Alfa Romeo and Alpine (except Ocon for…you already know because of what).

    Williams looks very slow here, because even the Haas in the hands of Mick Schumacher was very close to Russell and the latter has got a gearbox penalty (might as well take an PU penalty).

    1. @srga91 Russell just had a PU penalty last time out, so taking another this soon for the sake of taking would be pointless unless an absolute necessity.

      1. @jerejj
        Thanks for the info! Next time I should check the facts, before I embarrass myself again xD

        1. @srga91 I didn’t intend to embarrass you, LOL, but everything’s OK.

  2. Best comment on radio from Lewis “6 and a half tenths quicker!?!?!, oh man!!!” when his engineer told him he was fourth with that gap to Checo

    1. Sorry 3rd

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