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F1 Grand Prix of Mexico - Practice MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - OCTOBER 27: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (1) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB19 on track during practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Mexico at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez on October 27, 2023 in Mexico City, Mexico.

Mexico City Grand Prix: F1 Free Practice 1 Results

Drivers and teams will try to adjust to the high altitude conditions for the Mexico City Grand Prix

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Red Bull driver Max Verstappen tops free practice one ahead of Williams driver Alex Albon and teammate Sergio Perez at the Mexico City Grand Prix.

Aston Martin, Mexico City Grand Prix, F1, Formula 1, Fernando Alonso
Alonso leads the drivers out (Image Credit: @F1 on X)

Formula 1 heads to round 20 of the 2023 World Championship for the Mexico City Grand Prix. Drivers and teams will have to adjust to the high altitude levels that this weekend will bring.

Along with the high altitude, this weekend has hot temperature. Track temperature sits at 42 degrees Celsius, with air temperature being at 22 degrees Celsius.

The first practice session will see some changes in drivers. Frederik Vesti will replace George Russell in the Mercedes seat. Jack Doohan steps in the Alpine seat, replacing Pierre Gasly.

Bearman makes some history, as he becomes the youngest driver to take part in a Formula 1 session. The Briton is 18 years old, currently competing in Formula 2.

For AlphaTauri, Isack Hadjar replaces Yuki Tsunoda and for Haas, Oliver Bearman replaces Kevin Magnussen. Finally, Theo Pourchaire replaces Valtteri Bottas in the Alfa Romeo seat, making it five Formula 2 drivers stepping in for FP1.

Green light

Fernando Alonso is the first driver to head out on track for Aston Martin. The Spaniard has aero rakes on the rear wing with the Silverstone team hoping for much better improvements this weekend.

It was Alonso’s teammate Lance Stroll, who set the first laptime of the session. The Canadian set a 1:26.593 on the medium tyres.

However, the Aston Martin driver would be quickly beaten by Sergio Perez, setting a 1:23.935. The Mexican will be hoping for a good weekend at his home race this weekend, with lots of pressure on him to perform.

McLaren driver Oscar Piastri then went to the top of the timesheets. The Australian set a 1:23.853. Williams driver Alex Albon would then go to the top, setting a 1:22.466. The Thai driver’s time was enough to beat Max Verstappen by just under two tenths.

However, Verstappen would then go to the top. The Dutchman set a time of a 1:21.858 on the medium compound tyre at the 10-minute mark.

Lots of car issues

Alfa Romeo’s Theo Pourchaire complained of a brake pedal issues, which forced the Frenchman to go back into the pitlane early on in the session. The 20-year-old reported: “The [brake] pedal feels strange.”

AlphaTauri’s Isack Hadjar complained of his AlphaTauri car anti-stalling at the final sector. The Frenchman headed into the pits after his issue.

Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc reported some issues with his engine, whilst at full throttle. The Monegasque said: “The engine does a slight strange noise when I’m at full throttle. It makes a metal noise.”

Leclerc would not be the only Ferrari driver with issues, as Carlos Sainz would have a bigger issue. The Spaniard had to cut Turn One due to losing hydraulics in his SF23. The Ferrari driver could not change gear and had a loss of power steering.

Sainz only turned up to the track today. The 29-year-old did was not present yesterday, due to him feeling unwell, resulting in him missing media duties.

Mexico City Grand Prix, Carlos Sainz, Ferrari, F1, Formula 1
Sainz had to cut Turn One due to a hydraulics issue (Image Credit: @F1 on X)
Red Bull show pace, whilst many other still struggle

The Mexican fans went wild after Perez went back to the top, setting purple sectors. The Mexican set a 1:21.596 on the medium tyre. However, Verstappen would quickly beat him, setting a 1:20.245 on the same compound.

Perez would improve his time to go within 0.422 seconds of his teammates. Meanwhile, Albon managed to go within 0.004 seconds of Verstappen’s time to go second for Williams.

After that lap, Albon reported that he felt a loss of power on the straights. However, the Thai driver did not have an issue in the end.

Pourchaire went back out on track for Alfa Romeo after reporting a brake pedal issue. However, the Frenchman would go straight back in the pits after reporting that the brake pedal was still long.

Leclerc would do a lap on the soft compound tyre. The Monegasque would go third-quickest, going within 0.052 seconds of the reigning world champion.

Soft tyre runs

At the 35-minute mark, Lando Norris would go to the top of the timesheets. The Briton set a 1:20.237 on the soft compound tyre.

However, the McLaren driver would be quickly beaten by Verstappen, once again. The Dutchman smashed the 24-year-old’s time, setting a 1:19.719 on the same compound.

It was not all positive for the Dutchman, however. The 26-year-old reported that something was “loose” between his feet, leading to the team telling him to head to the pits.

Perez went on his soft tyre run, jumping up to second on the timesheets. The Mexican went within 0.297 seconds of his teammate, as the 33-year-old looks for improvements this weekend after spending lots of time in the simulator.

Albon, once again, showed great pace, setting a purple sector one and going within 0.095 seconds of Verstappen’s time at the top, resulting in the Thai driver going up to second.

Lots of drivers were struggling at the start of the final sector, going too much over the kerb. Norris and Alonso, especially struggled on their laps.

Oliver Bearman went on a push lap, going just over two tenths off Verstappen’s first sector. However, the Briton would slide at the fast section in sector two, ruining his laptime.

Verstappen would finish the session at the top, ahead of Albon and teammate Perez, rounding up the top three for the session.

  1. Max Verstappen
  2. Alex Albon
  3. Sergio Perez
  4. Lando Norris
  5. Charles Leclerc
  6. Oscar Piastri
  7. Carlos Sainz
  8. Daniel Ricciardo
  9. Esteban Ocon
  10. Lance Stroll
  11. Lewis Hamilton
  12. Nico Hulkenberg
  13. Zhou Guanyu
  14. Logan Sargeant
  15. Oliver Bearman
  16. Fernando Alonso
  17. Isack Hadjar
  18. Jack Doohan
  19. Frederik Vesti
  20. Theo Pourchaire

Feature Image Credit: Jared C. Tilton via Getty Images

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