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Mexican GP 2015

OCTOBER 30, 2015

Practice 1 Report - The First Time

Max Verstappen, Mexican GP 2015
© Active Pictures

This was the first time Formula 1 cars had circulated on the newly rebuilt Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez. And at the end of the Free Practice 1 it was Toro Rosso's Max Verstappen who was in first place.

The line-up for the weekend was: Mercedes Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. Red Bull Renault Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat. Williams Mercedes Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas. Ferrari Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen. McLaren Honda Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button. Force India Mercedes Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez. Toro Rosso Renault Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz. Lotus Mercedes Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado. Marussia Ferrari Will Stevens and Alexander Rossi. Sauber Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr.

Jolyon Palmer drove Grosjean's Lotus in FP1.

The 2015 world champion was raring to get out on the revamped the 2.674-mile (4.304-km) 17-turn track.

"From the simulator it looked pretty awesome and from images I've seen," Hamilton said. "Generally the crowd really is what makes the atmosphere and makes the weekend. I've heard this weekend is sold out. I've got some Mexican friends that I spend Christmases with, so I know the spirit of the Mexicans. If they all come out in their thousands, I think it could be one of the most amazing weekends. So I'm looking forward to that."

Maldonado was the first out. Everybody was on Pirelli's intermediate tires as the track was damp.

11 minutes into the session, Raikkonen clocked a 1:37.169. But Verstappen would top that with a 1:35.283.

17 minutes into the session, the track was a mixture of damp and dry and somewhere in between. "Ridiculously slippery," Vettel radioed.

18 minutes into the session, Kvyat set a 1:34.041, and then Sainz did a 1:33.095.

21 minutes into the session, Bottas ventured out on medium compound slicks. He lowered the mark to 1:32.489, and then did a 1:31.868 followed by a 1:30.678.

30 minutes into the session, the top 10 were: Bottas, Hamilton, Perez, Nasr, Vettel, Massa, Raikkonen, Sainz, Rosberg and Verstappen.

35 minutes into the session, Kvyat took to the track as the final 60 minutes of FP1 were underway. Ricciardo joined him.

43 minutes into the session, Ricciardo turned a 1:29.502.

Midway through FP1 the top six were: Ricciardo, Bottas, Sainz, Hamilton, Alonso and Kvyat. But things were moving around as the track was quite dry, and Palmer posted a 1:29.163, and Rosberg did a 1:28.399.

With 33 minutes remaining in the session, Rosberg had lowered his time to a 1:28.331, but Bottas was on top with a 1:27.708.

With 32 minutes remaining in the session, Rosberg roared back with a 1:27.226 followed by a spin at Turn 12 during which his rear brakes caught on fire.

With 29 minutes remaining in the session, Verstappen spun off at Turn 1.

With 26 minutes remaining in the session, Kvyat took the lead with a 1:27.181 which he improved to a 1:26.663. Rosberg, Bottas, Verstappen, Perez and Massa rounded out the top six.

With 23 minutes remaining in the session, Ricciardo was now in second place.

With 17 minutes remaining in the session, the top 10 were now: Kvyat (now at 1:26.295), Ricciardo, Rosberg, Bottas, Verstappen, Perez, Massa, Hamilton and Vettel.

With 14 minutes remaining in the session, Bottas spun at Turn 3.

With 10 minutes remaining in the session, Raikkonen went into second place with a 1:26.877, and Verstappen beat that with 1:26.602. Just about everybody went out for the final 10 minutes.

With 4 minutes remaining in the session, Verstappen took over the lead with a time of 1:25.990.

And when it was all over the top 10 were: Verstappen, Kvyat, Raikkonen, Vettel, Ricciardo, Rosberg, Bottas, Sainz, Perez and Massa.