Verstappen completes practice hat-trick in Mexico

Verstappen completes practice hat-trick in Mexico

Verstappen completes practice hat-trick in Mexico

A defeated Sebastian Vettel conceded that Lewis Hamilton was the best driver in 2018 after finishing second in Mexico Sunday and falling out of championship contention.

Lewis Hamilton will start in third position in the Mexican Grand Prix.

German Nico Hulkenberg was seventh ahead of his Renault teammate Carlos Sainz and the two Saubers of Charles Leclerc and Marcus Ericsson. "I was just trying to bring the auto home". I would have loved to hang in there a little longer, but it wasn't the case.

Finnish team mate Valtteri Bottas suffered a suspected hydraulics failure with Mercedes braced for a possible engine change and a race against time to get the auto ready for qualifying.

Verstappen could not hide his feelings as he made a gentle collision with a number board as he parked his auto.

"I had the same problems as I had in FP2 - engine braking not what I wanted, rear locking. I mean, that's what we're here to do, is to race".

Sebastian Vettel conceded Lewis Hamilton had been the better driver over the course of the season after the Mercedes man clinched a fifth title on Sunday. I am conflicted but I am really happy it's over because it was a really tough race. "I hope you are having a great weekend and I hope the rest of 2018 is an fantastic year for you". "If I get a good tow from these guys and there's an opportunity to overtake I'm going to take it".

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"I have to go back and work with the engineers, debrief, get my mind right, start training again next week and get in gear so we can try to win [the next race] in Brazil. Maybe that will help".

Meanwhile, Haas had one of their worst qualifying sessions of the year as Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen struggled to qualify 16th and 18th. It was Haas' first double exit from Q1 since the same race in 2017.

Splitting the two American machines was Stoffel Vandoorne's McLaren, once again outqualified by team leader Fernando Alonso, while the Williams pair of Lance Stroll and Sergey Sirotkin locked out the back row of the grid in 19th and 20th respectively.

"We didn't think yesterday with that performance that we would be able to qualify on an ultra-soft (tyre) so that would have been a massive disadvantage for us".

Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen was third, meaning the constructors' championship remained open at least until the Brazilian Grand Prix in two weeks' time with Mercedes' lead trimmed.

"That's P1, Round One", Red Bull told him before team chief Christian Horner warned they would "have to improve on that" to be sure.

In the immediate post-race interviews, the Ferrari driver spoke to former F1 driver David Coulthard and even cut his interview short with the Scotsman to go and congratulate Hamilton in person.

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