Another heavy crash for Albon

Date published: October 25 2019

Alex Albon suffered another heavy shunt in Red Bull colours during FP2 at the Mexican Grand Prix.

Here is how Friday practice played out in Mexico City…

It was all smiles for Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg.

FP1 marked their first outing since the pair were disqualified from the Japanese GP results for the use of a brake bias adjustment system.

Valtteri Bottas must avoid being outscored by 14 points or more by Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton if he wants to keep the title fight alive into the United States GP.

Such big stakes required Bottas’ trusted weapon.

These conditions made the start of FP1 a damp squid – the teams were waiting for the track to totally dry after last night’s rain before they began to push.

The lack of on-track action allowed Haas to provide everyone with some new GIF material.

With just over an hour to go Nicholas Latifi, standing in for Robert Kubica, kicked us off, but Bottas’ 1:21.8 soon dumped the Canadian off top spot.

The times soon tumbled though with Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen all trading P1 duties with Bottas.

Verstappen had reason to be happy, but it was Leclerc who became the first driver into the 1:18’s – and that was on the medium tyres.

Lance Stroll brought out the first red flag of the weekend as he slid into the barriers at the final turn.

Hamilton raised the bar by setting a 1:17.327 on the softs shortly after the session re-started. Leclerc and Verstappen fell just over a tenth short of that time, but Leclerc did so still on the medium tyres.

Vettel meanwhile was struggling to find a place on-track for his Ferrari.

Maybe he needed the help of this guy to put a few of those drivers to sleep?

Hamilton topped FP1, but clearly Leclerc was the one to watch!

Vettel continued on the mediums at the start of FP2, setting an early 1.18.6. Verstappen went 0.023s slower on the same compound after a scruffy end to his lap.

Vettel would improve with Leclerc taking over P2 before the youngster went for a spin at Turn 1.

But, there was a bigger crash to follow as Albon went into the wall at Turn 8. Out came the red flags. Luckily the Red Bull driver was okay, but very disappointed.

Bottas was next to spin at the stadium section shortly after the track went back to green, but he managed to avoid the barriers.

With just over 50 minutes to go Leclerc bolted the softs on for the first time – into P1 he went with a 1:17.072, nine tenths up on Vettel.

The German responded in style with a 1:16.6.

Verstappen went a tenth slower than Vettel to split the Ferraris – a good effort from the Red Bull man.

For Hamilton it was a different story as he set a time one second slower than Vettel on the same compound. He was also three tenths slower than Bottas.

Drivers would dive into their race sims, meaning Vettel topped the session ahead of Verstappen.

But there was just enough time for Leclerc to go for another spin.

Follow all the action from the Mexican Grand Prixย with the PlanetF1 live centre