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Mexico City GP: Sergio Perez and Red Bull quickest ahead of F1 qualifying with Mercedes adrift

Watch Qualifying live on Sky Sports F1 from 8pm, with build-up from 7pm; Do Mercedes have any hope of denying Red Bull a front-row lock-out in Mexico?

Last Updated: 06/11/21 6:07pm

Red Bull appear firmly in the box seat at the Mexico City Grand Prix after their speed advantage over Mercedes showed no signs of dwindling in final practice, although it was home favourite Sergio Perez and not Max Verstappen who ended up fastest.

The 0.4s lap-time advantage that Red Bull held their title rivals on Friday increased to 0.651s, with Lewis Hamilton finishing a distant third as a result.

“Six and a half tenths?” replied a forlorn-sounding Hamilton when told of the gap to Perez in the closing minutes of the session.

Verstappen abandoned his final attempt after lacking grip on his final set of soft tyres, which allowed team-mate Perez to nip in for the quickest time of 1:17.024 – to the delight of the large and partisan home crowd at the atmospheric Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.

Hamilton and team-mate Valtteri Bottas were third and fourth respectively and appear to have it all to do to deny a Red Bull front-row lockout in qualifying from 8pm, live on Sky Sports F1.

Carlos Sainz’s promising start to the weekend continued in fifth place for Ferrari, ahead of AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda.

Ferrari's Charles Leclerc spins out during the final practice session at the Mexico City GP.

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Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc spins out during the final practice session at the Mexico City GP.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc spins out during the final practice session at the Mexico City GP.

Two more engine penalties were confirmed during the session, with McLaren’s Lando Norris and Alpine’s Esteban Ocon joining Tsunoda and Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll in back-of-the-grid starts on Sunday for exceeding power unit element limits.

Williams’ George Russell, meanwhile, carries a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change.

More to follow…




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