FP1 star Max Verstappen has shouldered the blame for crashing out before his first flying lap in second practice for the Mexican Grand Prix.
Verstappen set his first-ever fastest time in an official race weekend session in the morning at the revamped Mexico City track, although his quickest time was slightly controversial in that he breached track limits to set it.
He was looking to build on that promising start when he crashed into the wall on the approach to the final corner this afternoon, and would end the session at the bottom of the times after the left-front wheel was torn from the car against the barrier.
“Cold tyres and maybe not fully focused,” he explained of the crash. “It was like my first lap, I was not even pushing, just warming up the tyres and then suddenly I just lost it.”
The crash meant he lost any chance of running the soft-compound tyre today, having set the pace on the medium in FP1.
High hopes for the weekend
Despite this setback, Verstappen believes he has the pace to be a threat again this weekend, on the back of his fourth pace finish in Austin last weekend.
“It should be OK for us, if you look to FP1 we were quite strong,” he said. “I don’t see why FP2 would’ve been less, of course we didn’t do any running, so hopefully in FP3 we’ll get some running on the soft tyre – but I think in general the car is not so bad.
“The track in general is quite slow, which is a bit of a shame. The grip level is very low, so it’s not that challenging yet. It’s not too bad, I quite like the stadium section, to see so many fans like that is cool.
When asked what he lost due to his early FP2 exit, he replied: “Just general feeling with the grip changes of the tyres and the long runs, but I’m not too worried.
"The pace was good in FP1, and that’s always a good start, and there’s always FP3.”
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