Rosberg fastest as F1 returns to Mexico

Fri Oct 30, 2015 9:16pm EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Nico Rosberg set the fastest time for Mercedes in Mexican Grand Prix practice on Friday as large crowds welcomed Formula One back to the country after a 23-year absence.

The German, who is fighting for second place in a championship already won by team mate Lewis Hamilton, lapped the Hermanos Rodriguez circuit with a best of one minute 21.531 seconds.

"It feels like a kart circuit with a lot of very tight corners and the two stadiums are really spectacular with all the fans," said Rosberg.

Red Bull's Daniil Kvyat and Daniel Ricciardo were second and third on the timesheets with rain falling later in the afternoon.

Toro Rosso's Max Verstappen, who was not even born last time Formula One raced in Mexico in 1992, brought out red flags with a crash at the final corner in the afternoon after setting the pace in the morning session.

The 18-year-old Dutch driver was still the youngest driver to top a Formula One practice session with a best effort of 1:25.990.

He appeared to cut a corner on the Esses sequence in doing so, however.

Russian Kvyat, born two years after Britain's Nigel Mansell won the 1992 race, was also second fastest in the morning.   Continued...

Mercedes Formula One driver Nico Rosberg of Germany drives during the second practice session of the Mexican F1 Grand Prix at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City October 30, 2015. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido