Every prediction ahead of the Mexican Grand Prix gives Red Bull as a favorite for the win, with Max Verstappen who has already won at the Hermanos Rodriguez in 2017 and 2018. The Dutchman is currently leading the drivers championship by twelve points over Hamilton, who will try to catch up in a struggling Mercedes.
The Brackley team was fastest in FP1 in Mexico with Valtteri Bottas, while Verstappen followed in third one tenth behind. Max struggled in the morning becuase of the dirty track, but dominated in the afternoon, where he scored the fastest time overall, with four tenths of advantage on Bottas and five on Hamilton.
“It was quite a good day for us as a Team, of course we are always trying to improve and make the car better but overall, it’s looking pretty good" said Verstappen.
"The track was very dirty in FP1 which made it quite difficult for us but FP2 was much better. It’s always difficult to know how we are going to perform in qualifying after Friday practice, and there are quite a few things to look at to improve performance. It’s been a positive start and we have a good feeling as a Team heading into the weekend”.
The Hermanos Rodriguez, though, is cheering for just one driver overall, Sergio Perez: the Mexican could only took fourth place in both sessions, and knows deep inside that Pole Position is a Verstappen - Hamilton affair. Despite this, Checo doesn't want to disappoint his fans and aims to a front row start for his home Grand Prix.
"I think we didn’t lose that much progress today, despite the shunt in FP1. It was a shame we damaged the car and we gave a little bit of extra work to the boys in the garage but other than that incident it was a positive day," said Perez, who lost his RB16B at the start of the first session, damaging the rear of his car just like Charles Leclerc.
"I am feeling more comfortable on the long runs than over one lap, so I think there is still the potential to improve the car on the short runs. I have one more session to work on them and my target is to be on that front row tomorrow. The margins are going to be very close in qualifying to the Mercedes but hopefully we can lock out that front row.
"I don’t think it has been a representative day in terms of predicting qualifying, tomorrow everything will be even closer, and it will be interesting to see how we all line up - he continued - the fans have been incredible already, it is great to look around and have so much support here, everyone is being so enthusiastic and is pushing me to go faster. Every time I stop the car, I can hear the crowd and it’s only Friday!"