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FP3: Verstappen tops session, Bottas hit with hydraulic issue

  • Published on 27 Oct 2018 18:01
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  • By: Fergal Walsh

Max Verstappen has topped the final practice session from Mexico City, keeping up his pace from Friday. However, despite Red Bull holding a distinct advantage over the rest of the field on the opening day of running, that gap has now disappeared.

Verstappen's fastest time was a 1:16.284, which was over 0.254s ahead of Lewis Hamilton in second place. Yesterday, the energy drink squad held a gap of well over a second, which has seemingly been slashed dramatically overnight.

The session started with a damp track, as heavy rain fell overnight on the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez. Drivers used intermediates to do installation laps, however it was over half an hour before the first times were set.

The track quickly dried and teams got up to speed, but it didn't go to plan for Valtteri Bottas. The Mercedes driver pulled to the side of the road in the stadium section and reported over the team radio that he had a hydraulic issue.

Sebastian Vettel ended the session close behind championship rival Lewis Hamilton. The German was in third place but needs to win on Sunday and see Hamilton cross the line lower than seventh in order to keep his championship hopes alive. 

Daniel Ricciardo couldn't match his teammate after being close to the Verstappen in FP2 on Friday. Ricciardo was 0.744s down on the Dutchman, who will be hoping to become the youngest ever pole-sitter in Formula 1 history in a couple of hours' time.

Kimi Raikkonen was fifth for Ferrari He was headed of Charles Leclerc, who will take his seat at the Scuderia outfit in 2019. Leclerc held the top spot in the session for quite a while before his time was beaten by the front-runners.

However, the Sauber driver's time will worry Renault, who looked in impressive shape on Friday. Carlos Sainz ended the session behind Leclerc, while Red Bull-bound Pierre Galsy was eighth.

Sauber got both of its cars inside the top ten as Marcus Ericsson set the ninth fastest lap. Nico Hulkenberg, who was well inside the top five on the opening day of running, rounded out the top ten on the timesheets.

MX Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez - 27 October 2018

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