Friday, December 8, 2023

Verstappen leads the first free practice in Mexico, with Checo 2 tenths behind

Max Verstappen has started at the front first free practice session of the Mexican Grand Prix, nineteenth test of the 2023 Formula 1 calendar. Red Bull’s pace at altitude and in hot conditions (41st on the track) has been as superior as it was a week ago in Austin and the Dutch driver, three-time world champion, has led with a time of 1.19.718, followed by Alex Albon (Williams) at 95 thousandths and his teammate Sergio Perez to two tenths.

Complying with the FIA ​​rule of fielding a young driver in at least one free session, this Friday at the Autódromo de los Hermanos Rodríguez we saw up to five new faces in the first round: Bearman (Haas), Hadjar (AlphaTauri), Doohan (Alpine), Pourchaire (Alfa Romeo) and Vesti (Mercedes).

Carlos Sainz, who was absent from the official FIA press conference yesterday due to feeling unwell, has appeared in the Ferrari box fully recovered and has gotten into the car without any physical problems, but on a technical level. And as soon as it hit the track, Sainz’s SF-23 suffered a hydraulic problem that sent him back to the garage for several minutes.

Neither Fernando Alonso It has had a good debut. After only two laps of the track, he had to return to the Aston Martin garage due to a failure in the rear wing, which had to be removed. Without wasting as much time as Sainz, Alonso He was able to rejoin the session without further incidents, finishing 16th in a day that the Aston Martin team dedicated to testing to try to optimize the package of improvements they incorporated in the United States.

Neither Verstappen He got rid of the problems when he was leading the session with more than two tenths over Sergio Perezhas alerted the Red Bull wall that he noticed some loose parts inside the car.

The enthusiastic Mexican fans have enjoyed watching Czechnational idol, leading the time table at times, although the Guadalajara driver has not been able to stop his ambitious teammate Max Verstappenwho despite having already sentenced the title in Qatar, does not give up anything and has no intention of helping his teammate in the fight for the runner-up position against hamilton, at 39 points.

Ferrari has been able to solve the fault in the car Sainz in time so that the Madrid native, who finished on the podium in Austin after Hamilton’s disqualification, could have his first reference on the Mexican circuit. Carlos was seventh at the end of the session, 7 tenths behind Verstappen’s time.

Among the rookies Theo Pourchaire He was the worst stopped, since a breakdown in the Alfa Romeo left him in the pits for the entire session and the Frenchman finished without being able to complete a single lap. 15º +4O. Oliver Bearman (Haas) and Isack Hadjar, who has taken the wheel from Yuki Tsunoda at AlphaTauri, have set the best records among young people.

Mexican GP. Free 1:

1. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) 1’19″718

2. Alexander Albon (Williams) at 0″095

3. Sergio Pérez (Red Bull) at 0″297

4. Lando Norris (McLaren) at 0″519

5. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) at 0″579

6. Oscar Piastri (McLaren) at 0″750

7. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) at 0″761

8. Daniel Ricciardo (AlphaTauri) at 0″850

9. Esteban Ocon (Alpine) at 0″959

10. Lance Stroll (Aston Martin) at 0″969

11. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) at 1″006

12. Nico Hülkenberg (Haas) at 1″250

13. Guanyu Zhou (Alfa Romeo) at 1″411

14. Logan Sargeant (Williams) at 1″439

15. Oliver Bearman (Haas) at 1.595

16. Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin) at 1’21″347

17. Isack Hadjar (AlphaTauri) at 2″223

18. Jack Doohan (Alpine) at 2″391

19. Frederik Vesti (Mercedes) at 3″219

20. Theo Pourchaire (Alfa Romeo) ST


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