Mexican Grand Prix: Ricciardo finishes on top in free practice two
By: S. Harding, Xiro Xone News October 27, 2017 Updated: 6:49 PM
MEXICO CITY, Mexico -- Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo finished on the top of the time sheets ahead of championship leader Lewis Hamilton in the second practice session of the Mexican Grand Prix.
“Today was pretty positive and it’s always nice to be on top of the time sheets. I still feel we can improve a bit and we know Mercedes always find more on a Saturday when it counts," said Ricciardo.
With a mix of dirty track conditions and higher elevation, many cars are running high downforce to compensate for low grip. However, some drivers were still having a difficult time staying on the track.
Hamilton suffered a big spin coming out of Turn 11 and finished second in between both Red Bull's as Max Verstappen took third. Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel finished fourth, 0.119s behind Hamilton after a cockpit fire extinguisher exploded during the session. Teammate Kimi Raikkonen was not too far behind in fifth followed by Hamilton's teammate Valtteri Bottas in sixth. McLaren's Fernando Alonso took seventh with another tough weekend ahead as he faces a 20-spot grid penalty to be applied at Saturday's qualifying.
Force India and Renault split each other as home hero Sergio Perez took eighth followed by the Renault of Nico Hulkenberg in ninth. Perez's teammate Esteban Ocon finished tenth ahead of new Renault driver Carlos Saniz in 11th. Williams’ Felipe Mass finished the afternoon session in 12th.
“I’m feeling happy with how things have gone today – it’s been a positive start to our Mexican Grand Prix weekend. We looked strong from the start of morning practice and we’ve taken some important steps to improve the car across the two sessions. It’s never easy finding the right balance here because the high altitude has a big impact on the car: you slide around more with the lack of downforce and it makes things quite tricky. It was important to cover so many laps today and we have a big job tonight to understand the tyres, the car balance and where we can improve ahead of qualifying," said Perez.
Formula One newcomer Brendon Hartley finished 13th. Lance Stroll took 14th in the second Williams while Stoffel Vandoorne ended the afternoon in 15th. Sauber's Pascal Wehrelin finished the second session on a high in 16th. Haas' Kevin Magnussen took 17th and Wehrelin's teammate Marcus Ericsson finished in 18th. Toro Rosso's Pierre Gasly finished 19th as he prepares for his third F1 race of his career.
"We will have a really busy day tomorrow because I don’t know the track, so we’ll have only FP3 to learn it and to get ready for quali and the race. We’ll do as much as we can and keep pushing the rest of the weekend," said Gasly
Romain Grosjean finished at the bottom of the order in 20th after he lost his car on the final corner which resulted in a massive spin and flat spotted his tires. Shortly after while heading down the main straight, Grosjean's rear left tire began to delaminate sending chunks of tire flying, ripping off pieces of the bottom of his car.