Mexico City GP: Carlos Sainz and George Russell share practice title as F1 hits track after Red Bull saga
Carlos Sainz was fastest in Practice one before George Russell topped Practice two, which was the tire test; Two red flags in each session, with Charles Leclerc crashing Ferrari in P2; F1 returns to the track after Red Bull is punished with cost caps
Last Updated: 10/28/22 11:45pm
Carlos Sainz and George Russell shared the practice title at the Mexico City GP on Friday while Charles Leclerc suffered a major crash on his Ferrari as F1 returned to track competitiveness after the off-track saga of Red Bull finally ended.
Hours after Red Bull was handed a penalty for breaching F1’s cost cap during Max Verstappen’s 2021 championship-winning season – pay a fine of 7 million dollars and reduce car development – it was Ferrari who sped up to the lead over the newly crowned world champion in Practice One.
Sainz took the lead with a score of 1: 20,707, leading Leclerc 0.046 at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.
But there is hardly anything to divide the top six, which includes Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso.
Sergio Perez and Verstappen had identical game times for Red Bull, 0.120 seconds away from Sainz, while Hamilton was just over two per cent further behind in the flipped Mercedes to compete for his first win of the season in Mexico.
Verstappen, headed for a record 14th win in 2022 this weekend, took a spin in the midfield in a more grumpy session than usual, complaining of having “no place in Red Bull’s Red Bulls”. he”.
Alonso, meanwhile, is also within two-tenths of Ferrari’s Alpine standards.
Exercise Two, like last weekend at the United States GP, is an extended session due to the Pirelli tire test for 2023.
Russell is one of the drivers who can do the laps on tires this year – because he didn’t take part in the first practice replaced by Nyck de Vries – and topped the timesheet with a score of 1:19,970 .
Yuki Tsunoda and Esteban Ocon also posted increments of 0.8 seconds and 1.2 seconds respectively.
The big break from the session was one for Leclerc after he crashed into hurdles in the zigzag intermediate zone.
The Ferrari driver did not return to the track after that.
Leclerc did not enforce the only red flag of the second session, with Zhou Guanyu stopping right at the end of the session to cause another and end early.
P1 also has stops.
The session – a key session due to the P2 tire testing – also saw two red flags, with two of the rookies taking part seeing their track action cut short.
First, Pietro Fittipaldi, Haas’ replacement, experienced engine problems, before AlphaTauri’s Liam Lawson also experienced similar reliability issues later this year.
Elsewhere, Logan Sargeant, De Vries and Jack Doohan placed 17th, 18th and 19th respectively for Williams, Mercedes and Alpine. Sargeant and De Vries will join the F1 grid full-time next season.
Brundle: Red Bull punishment ‘about right’
Martin Brundle of Sky Sports F1
“I think it’s true, maybe a little bit. I think there are extenuating circumstances as Christian (Horner) pointed out.
“There’s no winner in this, it’s messy. This is year one of these regulations and you would expect if they go over the line next year, they’ll have to double in effect, really. difficult.
Mexico City GP Practice One Timesheet
|1) Carlos Sainz||Ferrari||1: 20.707|
|2) Charles Leclerc||Ferrari||+0.046|
|3) Sergio Perez||Red Bull||+0.120|
|4) Max Verstappen||Red Bull||+0.120|
|5) Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes||+0.142|
|6) Fernando Alonso||Alpine||+0.192|
|7) Valtteri Bottas||Alfa Romeo||+0.376|
|8) Lando Norris||McLaren||+0.413|
|9) Pierre Gasly||AlphaTauri||+0.603|
|10) Sebastian Vettel||Aston Martin||+0.818|
|11) Daniel Ricciardo||McLaren||+1.055|
|12) Zhou Guanyu||Alfa Romeo||+1.113|
|13) Lance Stroll||Aston Martin||+1.158|
|14) Mick Schumacher||Haas||+1.245|
|15) Nicholas Latifi||Williams||+2.205|
|16) Liam Lawson||AlphaTauri||+3.154|
|17) Sergeant Logan||Williams||+3.539|
|18) Nyck De Vries||Mercedes||+3.875|
|19) Jack Doohan||Alpine||+3.908|
|20) Pietro Fittipaldi||Haas||+6,059|
“Of course, anyone else who violates it, will have to be treated as hard as this person has been.
“It’s going to hurt them but they’re starting with a very good car, which is CFD, digital computer wind tunnel as well.
“They’ll just have to make sure that when they get to the wind tunnel, they’re focusing on it and getting the most out of each run. Obviously, that’s going to affect their growth next year and because of it. so that should happen.”