Mexico City Grand Prix: Max Verstappen dominates second practice

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Live coverage of the Mexican Grand Prix can be seen on 5 Live and BBC Sport.

Red Bull's Max Vertappen was a forceful performer in Friday practice at Mexico City Grand Prix.

The world champion was 0.42 seconds faster than Mercedes' Valtteri bottas. Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton's title rival, was 0.509secs slower.

Hamilton is 12 points behind Verstappen before Sunday's race.

Red Bull's Sergio Perez of Red Bull was fourth fastest, ahead Ferrari's Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) and Alpha Tauri's Pierre Gasly (Alpha Tauri).

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, was seventh ahead of Yuki Tsunoda from Alpha Tauri, Sebastian Vettel from Aston Martin, and Fernando Alonso, Alpine.

The race's day ended with the expected picture at front: Verstappen was the strong favourite for the race win, while Hamilton and Mercedes faced a race of damage limitation.

Hamilton and Bottas were a half-second behind after a single flying lap. However, they appeared to be similar in their margins on the race simulations runs in the second portion of the session. The two teams used different tyres so these results were not directly comparable.

Mercedes was encouraged by a deeper analysis of longer runs.

After switching from soft to hard tyres later in the race, Verstappen and the world champions were caught between the teeth with Verstappen. Red Bull kept the mediums they used from the start.

Hamilton may be able to run the race on medium and hard tires, with teams trying to avoid the softs on Sunday. This is in contrast to Friday's one-lap pace.

This is the first race in six weekends of F1 racing that will conclude the season.

Mercedes has always believed that this weekend would prove difficult for them because their engine and car are not as efficient at the 2200m elevation at which the track is located than Red Bull's power-unit.

Verstappen stated that it was a very good day. Always striving to improve the car. It seems like the car works well. There are a few things that can be improved, but overall it is quite good. It's a good start to the weekend.

Hamilton stated that the car felt good. There have been no major problems. We give it everything we have and they are faster than us at the moment.

"I don't have any real concerns. I am just trying to improve the setup. We lack downforce which is why we have the half second difference.

Mercedes lost the most time in the corners during the second half lap. Red Bull's higher downforce setting paid dividends.

McLaren's Lando norris finished 12th fastest, while Williams' driver George Russell was last and had no time due to a gearbox issue.