Formula One: Vettel hands Ferrari boost, Hamilton edges Rosberg

Nico Rosberg of Germany and Mercedes GP talks in the Drivers Press Conference during previews to the Formula One Grand Prix of Mexico at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez on Oct 27, 2016 in Mexico City, Mexico.
Nico Rosberg of Germany and Mercedes GP talks in the Drivers Press Conference during previews to the Formula One Grand Prix of Mexico at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez on Oct 27, 2016 in Mexico City, Mexico. PHOTO: AFP

MEXICO CITY (AFP) - Sebastian Vettel put Ferrari on top of the times with the fastest lap ahead of Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes by just 0.004 seconds in Friday's (Oct 28) second free practice session for this weekend's Mexican Grand Prix.

On a cool afternoon at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, the four-time champion made the most of conditions that seemed to suit him with a best lap in one minute and 19.790 seconds.

Defending three-time world champion Hamilton made three attempts to beat him without success while his Mercedes team-mate and championship leader Nico Rosberg wound up third three-tenths of a second behind him.

 

Kimi Raikkonen endorsed the improvement by the Italian team by clocking the fourth best time in the second Ferrari, 0.469 seconds down, ahead of fifth-placed Australian Daniel Ricciardo in the leading Red Bull.

Nico Hulkenberg was sixth for Force India ahead of Max Verstappen in the second Red Bull, the Dutch teenager setting his best laps on the medium tyres while most of his rivals were running on super-softs.

Valtteri Bottas was eighth for Williams, ahead of the two Spaniards, Carlos Sainz of Toro Rosso and two-time champion Fernando Alonso of McLaren-Honda.

Rosberg leads the championship by 26 points with three races remaining and can clinch the title on Sunday if he wins and Hamilton fails to score more than a single point.