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Mexican Grand Prix 2023

Verstappen tops Albon in first Mexican GP practice

The World Champion hit the ground running in Mexico as he seeks a 16th win of the season, with Williams' Alex Albon running strongly in second place.

Verstappen Mexico
To news overview © Red Bull Content Pool

Max Verstappen set the pace in the opening practice session for the 2023 Mexico City Grand Prix, beating Williams' Alex Albon to top spot.

In dusty conditions at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, Verstappen pumped in a 1:19.718 on the Soft C5 Pirelli tyres to top a session in which five rookie drivers took part to fulfil the mandatory young driver sessions.

Pirelli was also testing tyres in the session, with the opening flurry of laps being completed by the field on the test tyres for the opening 10 minutes, before Sergio Perez vaulted to the top of the times on the Medium compound.

Verstappen soon resumed top spot, going onto further extend his advantage during the red-marked Soft tyre runs with Albon splitting the two Red Bulls.

Carlos Sainz suffered a loss of power steering due to a hydraulic issue in the opening minutes but was able to return to the track, while Lewis Hamilton took 11th for Mercedes.

Result Free practice 1 - Mexican

# Driver Team Time Tyre
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The opening minutes of the session was full of a handful of drivers complaining of dramas with their cars, as a piece of Daniel Ricciardo's AlphaTauri flew off on the pit-straight, but no Virtual Safety Car was required.

After the runs on the race compounds, it was Perez who topped the session from Verstappen, Charles Leclerc, Ricciardo and Albon - although Verstappen posted a 1:20.245 on the Mediums to top Perez by 1.351s and Leclerc by nearly two seconds.

Albon soon split the Red Bulls, falling just 0.004s short of Verstappen's time as the session headed towards the mid-session lull and start of the Soft tyre runs.

Norris clocked a 1:20.237s to eclipse Verstappen by 0.008s before the triple World Champion posted the 1:19.718 that would see him top the session on his push lap on the C5 rubber.

Perez for a time made it a Red Bull one-two, some 0.297s down on his team-mate before Albon bolted on his set of Softs for a 1:19.823 to go 0.095s down on the pace-setter.

Norris took fourth ahead of Leclerc, Oscar Piastri and Sainz who returned to the track following his loss of hydraulics.

The top 10 was rounded out Ricciardo, Esteban Ocon and Lance Stroll - with Hamilton the first driver outside one second of Verstappen in 11th.

Rookie drivers

Nico Hulkenberg Zhou Guanyu, Logan Sargeant and Fernando Alonso followed Hamilton with Oliver Bearman - in for Kevin Magnussen- the best-placed of the rookie drivers.

He narrowly pipped Isack Hadjar of AlphaTauri (Yuki Tsunoda), with Jack Doohan (Alpine, Piere Gasly), Frederik Vesti (Mercedes, George Russell), and Theo Pourchaire (Alfa Romeo, Valtteri Bottas) rounding out the classification.

Pourchaire suffered a brake by wire issue, limiting his laps in place of Boyyas.

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F1 2023 Mexican Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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