“Six tenths of a second?” The question was asked by Lewis Hamilton on the radio in a surprised tone. The Briton from Mercedes cannot explain where Red Bull got the speed that Sergio Pérez and Max Verstappen demonstrated in Free Practice 3 at the Mexican GP.
Pérez was the fastest driver of the morning to the delirium of the local fans, who dream that their idol could get a victory at home. Today he has surpassed by almost two tenths of a second his companion in the ranks, Max Verstappen.
The surprise in any case is the enormous distance that separates Red Bull from Mercedes. If yesterday after Free 2 it was 424 thousandths, today after Free Practice 3 that margin has grown to 651 thousandths. And the tone of surprise that Hamilton has put when they have sung the times says it all.
In the middle zone, the equality between Ferrari and AlphaTauri is maintained, and McLaren takes a step forward compared to Friday. Carlos Sainz was fifth, but he was only able to get eight thousandths out of Yuki Tsunoda. Daniel Ricciardo is one tenth away.
The teams have adapted their break-in plan due to an incident that occurred in a support race, given that a car had left oil in turn 4 and the grip on the circuit was not ideal. In fact, Tsunoda has been shooting almost alone for the first 10 minutes due to this circumstance.
With the first set of soft tires, Max Verstappen has been the benchmark by setting a 1’17 “217 on his second attempt. Sergio Pérez has made a 1’17” 934, being faster than Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas from the first tried.
In the last minutes, Pérez has ousted his teammate with the second set of tires, with which he has made a 1’17 “272 and finally a 1’17” 024 to finish the morning as the fastest. Verstappen has had stability problems in his run and has not been able to improve.
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