Friday, 18 October, 2019


Verstappen one less rival for a Mercedes or Ferrari seat - Ricciardo

Noah Ferguson | 29 October, 2017, 00:49

Max Verstappen ended third fastest in both Free Practice sessions at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez on Friday, and although both sessions saw restricted running, he feels the potential is there for a good weekend.

Hamilton is on the brink of becoming Britain's first four times world champion but he wants to do it with a victory on Sunday.

When asked about Ricciardo, Hamilton said in Mexico that he is open to sharing Mercedes with the 28-year-old. "If you're not prepared to race whoever it is, then what is the point of racing?"

Ferrari then followed up in fourth and fifth - Sebastian Vettel fractionally ahead of team mate Kimi Raikkonen - with FP1 pacesetter Valtteri Bottas ending the session in sixth, half a second down on his team mate.

"I think the pace of the auto is good, only I didn't do many laps in the morning", he said.

"On low fuel we are more or less there". I try not to think about that also, because I don't want to put things in my head which maybe don't exist.

"Going into the second session, chasing the balance because I basically missed the morning, and it could have been a bit better".

"I think Ferrari will be quick here". Verstappen and Ricciardo were third and fourth respectively.

Hamilton's 2016 pole time was 1:18.704.

"That would be good, because the relationship is really good", said the Dutchman. "I can take my time".

"We got lots of information, the track was feeling better in the second session once the temperature came up", added last year's race victor.

McLaren's Fernando Alonso continued his strong form to claim seventh, ahead of a tight battle between the Force Indias and Renaults - one that was eventually settled in home favourite Sergio Perez's favour, with Nico Hulkenberg, Esteban Ocon and Carlos Sainz all fractions of a second down the road.

New Zealander Brendon Hartley, preparing for his second race with Toro Rosso, managed only 10 laps in the morning with mechanics working on the vehicle after he stopped on track. He already has a 35-place grid penalty.

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