Lewis Hamilton second quickest in Mexican Grand Prix first practice

Ben Wallace saying: "Nine out of 10 of the latest, most serious cybercrime attacks have resulted in arrest of charges" - Ben Wallace MP, Security Minister
Hamilton will seek to win his fourth world title on Sunday
Mexican Grand Prix live on the BBC
Friday’s second practice: 19:55 BST on Radio 5 live sports extra
Saturday’s third practice: 15:55 BST on 5 live sports extra
Saturday’s qualifying: 18:55-20:05 BST on 5 live sports extra
Sunday’s race: 18:30-21:00 GMT on BBC Radio 5 live

Valtteri Bottas headed team-mate Lewis Hamilton to a Mercedes one-two in first practice at the Mexican Grand Prix.

The Finn, who has struggled in recent races, was 0.466 seconds quicker than Hamilton, who is aiming to clinch his fourth world title on Sunday.

Hamilton needs only to finish fifth regardless of where Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel is to become world champion.

Vettel was fifth behind the Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo.

The German was 0.762secs slower than Bottas and ahead of team-mate Kimi Raikkonen as the leading teams went in two-by-two formation on Friday morning in Mexico City.

But Mercedes’ pace may not be an accurate reflection of reality as the world champions were the only one of the top three teams to set their fastest times on the ultra-soft tyres.

Red Bull and Ferrari both only used the slower super-soft, preferring to save their ultra-softs for the second session, when conditions will be more representative of those that will be experienced in qualifying and race.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen finished third in the first practice session

Verstappen’s pace was particularly impressive – the Dutchman was only 0.571secs slower than Bottas, when the gap between the tyres is usually a little more than that.

Mercedes came into the weekend expecting to have a difficult time as, despite the long straights at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, teams run at maximum downforce because of the thin air at altitude in Mexico City.

All the drivers were struggling with the dusty and low-grip track surface and there were a number of spins and off-track moments.

Raikkonen was the most high-profile driver to lose control but Force India development driver Alfonso Celis, subbing in the first session for Esteban Ocon, crashed at the last corner, damaging the rear wing and rear end.

Force India race driver Sergio Perez was the best of the rest in seventh place ahead of McLaren’s Fernando Alonso, who has a 35-place grid penalty because of engine infringements, Williams driver Felipe Massa and the Renaults of Nico Hulkenberg and Carlos Sainz.

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