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F1 | Mexico GP | Mercedes leads first practice session in Mexico with Verstappen P3, Perez and Leclerc crash

The Finn was the fastest driver on the first day of action at Mexico City as Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen end 2nd and 3rd on the table.

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F1 | Mexico GP |  Mercedes leads first practice session in Mexico with Verstappen P3, Perez and Leclerc crash
Fuente imagen: @MercedesAMGF1 on Twitter.

As the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez prepares to receive the Mexican GP for the 18th round of the Formula 1 calendar, the exciting championship battle for this years’ drivers’ title takes a step forward to its completion, as the first practice session of the weekend went green towards a new race weekend.

The first stint of the hour was dominated by Valtteri Bottas as the drivers started lapping with the soft compound of Pirellis. Sergio Pérez clocked 0.842s behind the Finn and Lewis Hamilton completed the first three places.

10 minutes into the session Charles Leclerc lost the rear of the #16 Ferrari in the Nigel Mansell corner before getting into the straight and therefore broke the rear wing. In a twin accident at the same spot in the track, Sergio Perez hurt the rear and floor of his Red Bull in an incident that represented a fair time of reparations for the two involved teams.

Pierre Gasly marked the fastest time on the table just before Max Verstappen went on a flying lap and topped the table with the yellow, and then the white Pirellis.

The track proved to be treating the drivers to a hard time with the excessive dust flying over the third corner and the slippery surface on turn 17 just before entering the long Mexican straight. Lewis Hamilton drove out the track limits at the first two corners and faces an investigation due to be done after the session, as the reigning World Champion didn't rejoin the track rounding the bollard collocated on Turn 3.

An impressive AlphaTauri pair shared the top 5 of the timesheet as Yuki Tsunoda flew to take third fastest, and Pierre Gasly fought to keep 5th place in his hands.

With 25 minutes to go in the session, Carlos Sainz made his way to the top as the only Ferrari driver to be on track after Leclerc's accident. Just a lap after, the Mercedes drivers and Max Verstappen put a new package of the softest compound and therefore took, one by one, the first place of the table, finally being Max Verstappen who ended with the fastest time, with a 1:18.4 lap. Meanwhile, after 26 minutes of being stuck in the garage, Pérez went out in track again, as did Charles Leclerc.

As the session came to an end, McLaren proved to be struggling in the Mexico City conditions with Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris finishing 13th and 14th respectively. In the fight for winning P3 in the constructors' championship, Ferrari showed a better pace in the first hour of action with its drivers ending 6th and 7th. Esteban Ocon, Fernando Alonso, and Sebastian Vettel completed the Top 10 alongside Pierre Gasly, in what resulted in a good evening for the Honda-powered challengers.

Valtteri Bottas finally went fastest with a 1:18.341 and topped the session ahead of Lewis Hamilton and third Max Verstappen.

Yuki Tsunoda and Lance Stroll updated Power Unit elements for this round of the championship and so they will start the race at the back of the grid.

Action is set to resume at the Mexican GP for the second free practice session at 3:00 p.m local time.

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