Mexican GP: Ricciardo leads the way in FP2

© XPB 

Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo picked up in FP2 where Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton left off in the morning, as he topped the afternoon session.

The Aussie clocked in with a 1:17.801 which was marginally faster than Hamilton's FP1 time, edging out the leader of the world championship by 0.131s and team Max Verstappen by 0.163.

Mexican Grand Prix - Free practice 2 results

Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:17.801s 26
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:17.932s + 0.131s 40
3 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:17.964s + 0.163s 17
4 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:18.051s + 0.250s 35
5 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:18.142s + 0.341s 40
6 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:18.299s + 0.498s 43
7 Fernando Alonso McLaren 1:18.508s + 0.707s 26
8 Sergio Pérez Force India 1:18.728s + 0.927s 41
9 Nico Hülkenberg Renault 1:18.775s + 0.974s 19
10 Esteban Ocon Force India 1:18.822s + 1.021s 42
11 Carlos Sainz Renault 1:19.060s + 1.259s 30
12 Felipe Massa Williams 1:19.206s + 1.405s 37
13 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso 1:19.423s + 1.622s 40
14 Lance Stroll Williams 1:19.524s + 1.723s 42
15 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren 1:19.844s + 2.043s 32
16 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber 1:20.306s + 2.505s 38
17 Kevin Magnussen Haas 1:20.318s + 2.517s 35
18 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1:20.362s + 2.561s 38
19 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso 1:21.745s + 3.944s 10
20 Romain Grosjean Haas 1:25.526s + 7.725s 3

The second free practice session kicked off with the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez basking in warmer temperatures, likely replicating Sunday's race conditions, thus making it a representative afternoon of running.

Romain Grosjean was back in his Haas seat but endured an early spin at Turn 17, perhaps cause by a puncture, which brought out the red flag as marshals were forced to clear bits of debris.

When proceedings resumed a few minutes later, Stoffel Vandoorne reported that his McLaren "was going sideways" as he stopped at the end of the pitlane, with his mechanics sent to return him to his garage.

Lewis Hamilton then brought out a yellow flag for a big spin at Turn 11, the Mercedes driver doing a good job of keeping his car out of the wall but ruining his set of tyres, a major setback for race simulation runs.

Shortly after, troubles awaited Sebastian Vettel who headed back to the pits after complaining of feeling something hot under his seat, likely the result of a fire extinguisher leak.

Meanwhile, Red Bull Racing headed the timesheet with Ricciardo leading Verstappen. But Mercedes picked up the pace as Hamilton displaced the Aussie at the top as he took on a set of ultrasofts tyres, with Valtteri Bottas in tow, but on the soft compound.

Raikkonen dialed some speed into his ultrasoft-shod Ferrari to split the Mercs about halfway through the session, but Ricciardo once again bounced to the top with a lap in 1:17.801.

Down at Toro Rosso, Pierre Gasly encountered a power unit issue which put an end to his session early on. A mileage deficit which will have the Frenchman running as much as possible in FP3 tomorrow, having already missed FP1 this morning.

Team mate Brendon Hartley was running steady for most of the session before he lost the rear end of his STR12 at Turn 6, fortunately without incurring any damage.

Max Verstappen's afternoon also ended earlier than planned after a terminal issue was discovered on his power unit. Fortunately, it was a 'Friday engine' and the failure won't affect him on Sunday.

Fernando Alonso ended the session 'best of the rest' behind the top three teams' drivers, concluding his day of running in P7 and leading a closely matched group made up of Sergio Perez, Nico Hulkenberg and Esteban Ocon.

As drivers completed their long runs and race simulations, Ricciardo's fastest lap achieved earlier in the session remained unbeaten.

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