Surging ahead of Valtteri Bottas in a late-practice battle in FP2 in Mexico, Max Verstappen laughed when his race engineer told him the Alfa Romeo driver “even used DRS” in the tussle.
As the clock counted down on Friday’s second practice session for the Mexican Grand Prix, Verstappen found himself involved in a brief battle with Bottas as if they were in the midst of a Grand Pix.
Heading down to Turn 1 with Bottas slightly ahead, Verstappen had the better pace and took the inside line to pass the Alfa Romeo driver.
Max Verstappen v Valtteri Bottas, only one winner
The Finn wasn’t having it and went wheel-to-wheel with Verstappen into Turn 2.
The Red Bull driver won the brief tussle with his race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase pointing out that Bottas used DRS to try to keep the position.
Lambiase said: “He even used DRS. Unbelievable!”
Verstappen replied: “Hahaha!”
Verstappen topped the timesheet with a 1:18.686 while Bottas had his best Friday showing in a while with a P4 finish, just 0.269s down on the Red Bull driver.
Verstappen was happy with his day’s work at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez but expects it will be a close battle for pole position on Saturday.
“We look competitive so that’s good, there are always a few things to improve but overall I think it was a positive start to the weekend – probably a little bit better than I expected, so that’s always good I guess,” Verstappen said after the session.
“I think tomorrow is going to be incredibly competitive over one lap, and the race pace again, that’s a different story.”
As for Bottas, he was “pleased with how today went: thankfully, we found the issue that affected our car during FP1, and we were able to address it and quickly solve it between the sessions; I would like to thank our mechanics for the hard work put in to get the car back on track.
“Overall, FP2 has been a clean session, which is important as it was the only practice of the day for me. I got a good number of laps under my belt, and the feeling with the car was generally pretty good.
“Still, it is only Friday: now our focus will go onto further improving both the setup and my confidence with the track, to fine-tune our car and place ourselves in comfortable positions ahead of tomorrow’s qualifying.”