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Formula 1

Vettel tops practice times in Mexico

Ferrari Formula One driver Sebastian Vettel during the Mexican Grand Prix
Ferrari Formula One driver Sebastian Vettel during the Mexican Grand Prix Henry Romero/Reuters

Sebastian Vettel topped the practice session of the Mexican Grand Prix ahead of defending champion Lewis Hamilton and championship leader Nico Rosberg.

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The four-time champion driving for Ferrari edged out Hamilton by a mere 0.004 seconds while Hamilton’s Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg was down by three 10ths of a second at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez circuit in Mexico City.

Vettel’s form could add a new dimension to the intense championship battle between the two Mercedes drivers. Rosberg goes into the race with a lead of 26 points with three races remaining knowing that if he wins on Sunday he can take his maiden title if Hamilton fails to score more than a single point.

Ferrari’s other driver Kimi Raikkonen recorded the fourth fastest time ahead of Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo

Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg was sixth for Force India ahead of Max Verstappen in the second Red Bull.

Valtteri Bottas was eighth for Williams, ahead of the two Spaniards, Carlos Sainz of Toro Rosso and two-time champion Fernando Alonso of McLaren-Honda.

Following the session, Rosberg said he has a lot of homework to do to improve his performance on the weekend.

“It's been an unusual day out there. The low temperatures and a very green track. So, it’s been a bit of a steep learning curve to understand what to do with the tyres – how to get the best out of them and also the long runs,” he said.

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