Home Cartoon shows Verstappen shows dominant speed in practice for Mexican GP | Sports News

Verstappen shows dominant speed in practice for Mexican GP | Sports News



MEXICO CITY (AP) – The first laps in the dust of Mexico City belonged to Mercedes. By the end of the afternoon, Red Bull was up and running again.

Formula 1 championship leader Max Verstappen set the fastest time in Friday’s second practice at the Mexican Grand Prix. His Red Bull was more than half a second ahead of his Mercedes title rival Lewis Hamilton.

Hamilton even followed his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas, who was more than 0.4 seconds behind Verstappen in the high altitude and rarefied airs of the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez of Mexico City.

Verstappen’s teammate Sergio Perez was on Hamilton’s rear wheel in fourth after recovering from a crash in Friday’s opening practice.

Verstappen leads Hamilton by 12 points before the last five races. The 24-year-old Dutchman is trying to win his first title. Hamilton, 36, is aiming for an eighth record.

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Red Bull found the speed to make a resounding recovery after Bottas and Hamilton were the fastest in first practice, a session marked by clouds of dust on a track that has not been used for two years. The harsh conditions made traction difficult and caused several cars to spin.

This included Perez, the national favorite, who put his car in the wall just a few laps after the opening session. Red Bull had to park their car for 25 minutes of the hour-long session for repairs.

Red Bull is widely favored on the track. Verstappen won in Mexico City in 2017 and 2018. He dominated practice and qualifying again in 2019, but a starting grid penalty and a punctured tire on lap two ruined his race and Hamilton won.

“The margins are going to be very close in qualifying for the Mercedes, but hopefully we can lock that front row in,” Perez said. “I don’t think it’s been a representative day in terms of qualifying predictions, tomorrow everything will be even closer.”

Hamilton admitted it would be very difficult for Mercedes to match Red Bull’s racing speed on Sunday. Unlike the previous race at the United States Grand Prix where Verstappen flipped Hamilton’s middle finger and called him a “dumb idiot” after their cars nearly touched each other during practice, the drivers dodged each other. the others in Mexico City.

Red Bull team manager Christian Horner has refused to rule out a potential owner of the squad for Perez to lose a victory against Verstappen if it is necessary to help Verstappen’s title hopes.

That would mean Perez would forgo a win in his home run.

“It would depend on where our opponents (Mercedes) are. You can’t rule it out, you can’t rule it out, ”Horner said. “Our preference would be to see if Checo was in that position for him to win his home race. There is no greater result for any home driver.

“But as a team we have to keep an eye on these two championships and know what is at stake.”

Perez arrives in Mexico City at the height of his career with a victory and three more podiums. He was third in the two previous races and has never finished three times in the top three of his career.

Horner noted that Red Bull only trails Mercedes by 23 points in the Tag Team Constructors Championship, where the season title is worth millions of dollars to the winning team.

“Formula 1 is not just about the drivers,” said Horner. “The pilots are part of the team, they are subcontractors who contract for the team. The constructors’ championship has equal or greater weight. Maybe not the prestige, but that’s where the money goes.

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