In previous seasons, Mexico City has always been highlighted as one to watch, offering up action-packed races. Following the action in FP1, it seems that the new track layout isn’t going to change that with the session finishing early under a red flag.
Starting with caution, Nico Müller was one of the first to set a lap time with a 1:14.242 putting him at the top of the timesheet. As times began to tick down, it became clear that we would continue to see improvement as the drivers familiarised themselves with the new 16-turn layout.
Antonio Felix da Costa swiftly knocked Müller off of the top spot, but Müller wasted no time in reclaiming the fastest time, crossing the line with 1:12.972.
Just 10 minutes into the first session of race day we saw our first use of an escape route. As the session continued, turns 1 and 6 emerged as potential high-action areas. A number of drivers were forced into using the escape available at turn 1 including Neel Jani and Jaguar’s Mitch Evans who bailed to avoid meeting the wall.
As the drivers began to liven up and test their limits, Edoardo Mortara set a time of 1:12.366 which was matched exactly by da Costa in the Techeetah. The times continued to tick down and before too much longer, Andre Lotterer broke into the next second and set a time of 1:11.771.
Following Evans’ bail-out at turn 1, he and his teammate James Calado set the two fastest times, giving Jaguar a 1-2 at the top of the timesheet, with Evans leading the way. This didn’t last for long as da Costa took P1. He was swiftly dethroned by Lucas di Grassi. In turn, Müller stole P1 back, giving us a taste of what could be coming up in the rest of the day’s sessions.
After Jani’s own close call at turn 1, he continued on his lap. However, coming into turn 6 he put his rear left onto the grass and experienced his second close call, but luckily avoided a spin and continued on his way once again.
Jerome D’Ambrosio brought the times tantalisingly close to the 1:10 mark but ended up crossing the line with a time of 1:10.087. Mortara saw the target and smashed it with a 1:09.273.
With around 12 minutes left of the session, Daniel Abt smashed into the barrier and a red flag fell across the circuit. Drivers returned to the pitlane, eagerly awaiting the session going green again. As the clock his 6:18, the decision was made that the session would not restart. Abt’s team began the race to repair his car before FP2 gets underway.
Image credit: FIA Formula E Media