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Mexican GP practice & debate

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Mexican GP practice & debate
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Summary

  1. First practice under way – on 5 live sports extra at top of page
  2. Hamilton will be champion if he finishes 7th or higher on Sunday
  3. Get involved #bbcf1 your fantasy F1 line-ups

Live Reporting

By Niamh Lewis

All times stated are UK

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  1. Post update

  2. Post update

    And it’s a 1:19.798 for the Finn.

  3. Post update

    Don’t worry, you’re not missing anything, nobody has set a time yet.

    Kimi Raikkonen is out on the track now.

  4. Magnussen angry at ‘pathetic and wrong’ penalty

    Haas’ Kevin Magnussen was also disqualified out of the points last weekend as his ninth-place finish was ruled out as his car had consumed more fuel than the 105kg race limit.

    He told Sky Sports: “We just could not do enough fuel saving and that says a
    lot about the situation.

    “The race should’ve been two or three laps shorter, not being allowed
    to run more than 105kg, we just could not get to the end of the race. It was
    pretty pathetic and wrong.”

    Magnussen

    Copyright: Getty Images

  5. We are on the track for FP1

    And we have some substitutions.

    Lando Norris is in for Fernando Alonso in the McLaren, and Antonio Giovinazzi is in for Charles Leclerc in the Sauber.

  6. Post update

    Esteban Ocon finished eighth in America, but was disqualified for exceeding fuel limits on the opening lap.

    He has been talking to Sky Sports and said: “It is a shame, we made a mistake, didn’t gain an
    advantage and had to accept it.”

    ocon

    Copyright: Getty Images

  7. Post update

    We’re nearly ready for our first practice session, which I’ll keep you updated with of course. But otherwise, we’re talking team news from over the week…

  8. Get Involved

    Tweet us via #bbcf1

    Talking of perfect partners, who would your dream F1 team be? Current, previous, or non-F1 drivers… tweet us via #bbcf1

  9. Perfect partners

    They look like the perfect partnership. But sadly they separate at the end of the year, as Ricciardo flies off to Renault.

    Rumours were quashed over the last few days that Red Bull would have Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton on the same team as Christian Horner, Red Bull’s team boss said: “they are the two drivers with the biggest egos”.

    Mercedes, on the other hand, didn’t comment…

  10. Who’s excited for Mexico?

    Daniel Ricciardo

    Copyright: EPA

  11. A chance for Max?

    Andrew Benson

    BBC Sport’s chief F1 writer

    Does Max Verstappen think Red Bull has a chance of victory in Mexico,
    repeating his feat of last year? He says Mexico is “definitely the best chance
    for us” for a win before the end of the year.

    “We will try to set up the car
    the best way possible and see how we perform, I don’t think in qualifying we
    have a chance but in the race I expect it to be better than Austin.”

    “It will be
    close between them (Mercedes and Ferrari) in qualifying and I think we will be
    a little bit behind but in the race we will be better. About Lewis as a
    driver you always want to win so I don’t think that changes a lot.”

    Max Verstappen

    Copyright: Getty Images

  12. ‘Plus ca change’

    Andrew Benson

    BBC Sport’s chief F1 writer

    Kimi Raikkonen might have had to wait nearly six years between
    victories, but, winner or not, he remains a man of few words. “It was a great
    result and a good race,” he said on Thursday.

    “Had to fight for it, didn’t come
    easy. Exciting race, not a lot else to say. This weekend, we will do our best.”
    Did he go out and celebrate. A smile flickered across his face. “We had a small
    party. It takes a bit longer to recover at this age. That part is not fun but
    the first part is.”

    And can he win again this weekend? “In the past all three
    teams have been up there and it depends on small details,” he said, “but there
    is no point guessing now who is going to be up there.” What’s Finnish for plus
    ca change..
    ?

    Kimi, Max press conf

    Copyright: Getty Images

  13. Post update

  14. ‘Seventh will do’

    Andrew Benson

    BBC Sport’s chief F1 writer

    Last year, Lewis
    Hamilton arrived at the Mexican Grand Prix needing only a fifth place to clinch
    the title. This year, a seventh place will do.

    Last year, Max Verstappen drove
    a superb race in the US, denied a podium after being demoted a place for
    passing Kimi Raikkonen off the track, and went on to win superbly in Mexico.

    And the Dutchman’s win was made easier when Hamilton and Vettel clashed at the
    first corner, the German sliding into Hamilton’s car and giving him a puncture.
    And this year, Red Bull are fancied to do well again in Mexico, where the high
    altitude means maximum downforce – a trim in which Red Bull are at their most
    competitive.

    However good Red Bull are, it’s hard to see Hamilton struggling to
    finish seventh. But then last year, after that clash, he could manage to
    recover only to ninth. Which just goes to show nothing can be taken for granted.

  15. Mexican vibes

    Fun fact: Sombrero’s are Mexican, but the word refers to a wide brimmed hat in Spanish.

  16. The odds

    Vettel can only save his stake in the championship if he outscores Hamilton by 21 points. That means he needs to win and needs Hamilton to be eighth or lower.

    Mercedes can win both championships this weekend, which will make it their fifth consecutive constructors’ championship title.

    Sebastian Vettel

    Copyright: Getty Images

  17. Post update

    There’s a similar pattern forming this year.

    Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari had trouble this time last year, making mistakes in the three races prior to Mexico, which meant the pressure was intense, and time was running out by the time Mexico arrived.

    Vettel needed Hamilton to finish lower than fifth, in order to keep his title hopes open, we told a similar story last weekend, but the odds are even higher for Vettel to scrape his way through this time.

  18. Will history repeat itself?

    Max Verstappen won in Mexico last year, but more importantly, this was race when Lewis Hamilton clinched victory over his fourth world title…

  19. Can Max make it a number nine?

    Verstappen performed beautifully last weekend in Austin. The Red Bull team boss, Christian Horner afterwards said how well his boy did to manage the tyres in the final few laps, despite all their data saying they wouldn’t last until the end. He drove a perfect race starting from P18, and holding off Hamilton to finish second.

  20. A race to remember

    The world championship was not decided in Austin, but it’s more likely that it will be this weekend.

    Kimi Raikkonen, and Max Verstappen drove near perfect races to fend off Hamilton from claiming the world title last weekend in the US. For two drivers who aren’t in contention for the championship, and are rarely seen at the top of the podium, it was a great moment to see them up there at such a crucial time in the season.

    Kimi Rakkonen fans

    Copyright: Getty Images

    US GP podium

    Copyright: EPA

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