FP2: Vettel ahead as Mercedes lose edge

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Mexico, Autódromo Hermanos Rodriguezmx

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel was the fastest man in the afternoon session at Mexico, setting the fastest time in a session that saw the top 10 spread by nearly a full second.

After the damp start in first practice, the clean - but not so grippy - track greeted drivers at the start of the afternoon session was a very welcome situation and the beginning of a productive 90 minute of running.

The Alfa Romeo drivers were first out on track, but they were soon toppled by Lando Norris who followed them out, and was quicker on his first lap.

With grip at a premium, many drivers had moments off the track, just like in first practice. And yet again, one driver didn't manage to keep it out of the barriers, with this time Alexander Albon sliding off the track at Turn 7. After he nearly caught the oversteer through the corner, he slid sideways into the tyre barrier, damaging the right hand side of his car.

Charles Leclerc was better off as he was able to carry on after a spin at Turn 1. Vettel was also repeatedly seen cutting some grass, and Bottas escaped from a spin through Turn 11.

Bottas still ended the session 4th quickest, topping his Mercedes team mate.

Behind them, Toro Rosso continued to impress with Kvyat and Gasly going 6th and 7th respectively. They were followed by a trio of Renault-powered drivers, including Sainz, Hulkenberg and Norris.

The Alfas dropped down the pecking order compared to the morning session, just like both Haas drivers as they struggled more than others for grip. At Williams, both drivers were fairly evenly matched, but it was again Russell who was the faster of the two.

Alexander Albon ended up 20th, having completed only 5 laps before his crash.

Results

Pos.No.DriverCarTimeGapLaps
15Sebastian VettelFerrari1:16.607-35
233Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing Honda1:16.722+0.115s37
316Charles LeclercFerrari1:17.072+0.465s34
477Valtteri BottasMercedes AMG1:17.221+0.614s39
544Lewis HamiltonMercedes AMG1:17.570+0.963s35
626Daniil KvyatScuderia Toro Rosso Honda1:17.747+1.140s40
710Pierre GaslyScuderia Toro Rosso Honda1:18.003+1.396s39
855Carlos SainzMcLaren Renault1:18.079+1.472s38
927Nico HulkenbergRenault1:18.261+1.654s23
104Lando NorrisMcLaren Renault1:18.349+1.742s36
1118Lance StrollRacing Point BWT Mercedes1:18.362+1.755s38
1211Sergio PerezRacing Point BWT Mercedes1:18.366+1.759s34
133Daniel RicciardoRenault1:18.380+1.773s34
147Kimi RäikkönenAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari1:18.681+2.074s37
158Romain GrosjeanHaas Ferrari1:18.766+2.159s37
1699Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari1:18.889+2.282s46
1720Kevin MagnussenHaas Ferrari1:19.306+2.699s37
1863George RussellWilliams Mercedes1:19.968+3.361s36
1988Robert KubicaWilliams Mercedes1:20.180+3.573s37
2023Alexander AlbonRed Bull Racing Honda1:21.665+5.058s5