The third practice session of the Mexico City Grand Prix kicked off ona sunny Saturday morning at 11:00am local time. No drivers were out on track until 5 minutes into the session when AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda was the first car out on track.
Tsunoda had a couple of laps with all of the circuit to himself, and during that time he complained about the track being a bit slippery due to oil spilled in the support races that took place before the session. That was taken care of by marshalls, but it seemed that the track was still slippery and dusty.
Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll was second out 10 minutes into the session, followed by William’s George Russell.
It was then that Tsunoda st the first fastest lap of the session at 1:20.922, just before Russell set the second fastest +2.849 seconds slower than the Japanese driver.
As more drivers started to hit the track, TSU got his fastest lap down to 1:19.744, before RUS cut down the gapp they had inbetween them to just +1.462 seconds.
The majority of the drivers were out by now, and it could be seen that there was still some slipery parts around turn 4 and some dust on turn 8 that was there to clean up the oil from accidents on support races.
Once they warmed up a bibt more, divers started to set fast laps. McLaren’s Lando Norris took P1 from Yuki setting the fastest lap at 1:19.244, and was followed by Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen by just +0.055, a pretty close lap.
The Mercedes started to shine after this, when reigning champion Lewis Hamilton broke the 1:19 time and set the fastest lap to 1:18.770. It was at this time that commentators reminded everyone that Valtteri Bottas is not just the Hermanos Rodríguez track fastest man, but also in all of F1.
He set the speed record back in 2016, when he was still racing for Williams, at 372.5 kilometers per hour (around 231.4 miles per hour).
Local hero Sergio Pérez started to complain abit about tyre damage but that did not seem to other much as he set fastest lap right after this. As the majority (except for Gasly and Alonso who had mediums) he had the soft compound on.But it did not last long as Charles Leclerc went faster setting a 1:18.2 lap.
Now, with 20 minutes left in the session, Max Verstappen is leading the pack, with just over a second between him and Carlos Sainz who was in P5.
Everyone but Lecerc went to boxes, and it was then that Charles sspun on Turn 3, but did not cause any trouble as he was the only one on track and went back on his way quickly. But he continued to struggle a couple of laps later when other rejoined him and had some grip problems with the back tyres in turn 5.
With 7 minutes to go in the session, Bottas complained about traffic in the stadium part of the track. A traffic jam that could be seen coming even from turn 4 of that same lap.
With just four minutes left in the session, Sergio Pérez got ahead of teammate Verstappen and set the fastest lap down to 1:17.024. Verstappen tried to get P1 from Pérez but failed to better his lap time as he comlained about not having enough grip.
The session ended with Sergio Pérez on P1, with a lap tim of 1:17.024, followed by Verstappen, Hamilton, Bottas and Sainz closing up top 5. They were followed by Yuki Tsunoda, Daniel Ricciardo, Pierre Gasly, Charle Leclerc and Lando Norris in P10.