At 1600 GMT, Formula 1 returns to Mexico for Free Practice One. Teams are having to run a High Downforce Package because of the extreme altitude. Experts believe that because of air density, cars will naturally lose 23% of it's downforce, making them level with what they would experience in Monza.
Hours before the session started, the track was faced with a heavy downfall of rain - exploration on the Inter Tyres were required. The first genuine lap attempted by Max Verstappen, the rather wobbly Toro Rosso managed a 1:35:283 before Sebastian Vettel claimed that slick tyres were required, 20 minutes in the session.
Daniel Ricciardo is the first man to dip under the 90-second mark as both Red Bull's occupy the top of the time sheets. Team Boss Christian is live from the pitlane to SKY TV throughout the weekend and he feels that both Mercedes and Williams are running their Monte Carlo setup, whereas his team are doing the same, but they have to compromise ever so slightly to help with their straight-line speed.
Due to the lack of air flow brake cooling is a major issue. Therefore, all of the teams are running aggressive cooling ducts – the same specification that they ran in Bahrain and Malaysia, which will enable the cars to deliver their desired power for the ultimate, laptime. Due to this extreme, the possibility of Brake and Turbo Failures are increased, with Rosberg suffering from flaming rear brakes while the team radio warns Max Verstappen that his brake temperature is on the limit.
Pirelli's conservative approach to this weekend means that not much tyre testing is needed for this practice session. However, Alonso's dry tyres have undergone some cuts and he is forced out on Inters to run an engine test on a dry track. The Spaniard only manages a couple of laps before his Mclaren ends up with a boat-like understeer, ending his adventure.
Max Verstappen wins his first session of his career, beating Daniil Kvyat and Kimi Raikkonen by .305 of a second. Although his lap was illegal with him massively cutting a corner - something that he will not be able to do in either qualifying or race.
NOV 01 - MEXICO GRAND PRIX - FREE PRACTICE 1
|5.||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Racing||1:27.185||+1.195|
|8.||Carlos Sainz jr||Toro Rosso||1:27.410||+1.420|
|11.||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes GP||1:27.723||+1.733|
|16.||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India||1:29.099||+3.109|
|20.||Will Stevens||Manor F1 Team||1:32.866||+6.876||
Written by Harry Shovelar
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing
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