A rain-affected FP2 at the 2023 Mexico City Grand Prix couldn’t prevent Max Verstappen from continuing his clean sweep of the weekend, as he beat Lando Norris by a tenth of a second.
A blustery session at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez started and finished with rain, but Lando Norris found time in between showers to mark himself out as Verstappen‘s biggest challenger heading into Saturday.
Ferrari were expected to inch back ahead of McLaren with their strong mechanical grip – as shown to victorious effect in Singapore – but Leclerc was a quarter of a second behind Verstappen in third.
There’s almost no chance of rain for the rest of the weekend, but teams suffered disrupted race simulation runs meaning there could be a further shake-up of the order come race day.
Valtteri Bottas was a surprise fourth after making way for Theo Pourchaire in FP1, with Sergio Perez again a step (and three tenths) behind his Red Bull teammate and sixth-place Daniel Ricciardo continuing his strong early showing in Mexico.
Lance Stroll provided the biggest incident of the session when he had a wheel nut problem on his front left wheel, with Aston Martin way down in 18th and 20th after a spin for Fernando Alonso.
It was a tale of two Mercedes with Lewis Hamilton seventh but George Russell tenth and struggling against his teammate, Esteban Ocon and Oscar Piastri split the pair.
Drivers navigate tricky FP2 in Mexico
Rain hit the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez early in FP2 while most drivers were on the prototype test tyres that Pirelli have provided for the weekend.
They’re set to replace the C4 tyres (designated medium in Mexico City) for 2024 if Pirelli like what they see, but no drivers set their quickest lap time on the prototypes unlike in FP1.
Kerbs continue to be a problem with several drivers caught out including Logan Sargeant, whose Williams teammate Alex Albon was unable to back up his stunning second place from FP and finished 13th in the afternoon.
The turns 4-6 complex proved to be the most challenging section for drivers, and could well decide pole position or a big-name elimination in qualifying.