MEXICO CITY (AP) — Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was fastest again in the final practice Saturday during qualifying at the Mexican Grand Prix.
Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton made up for Friday with the morning’s second-fastest lap in a session that had drivers staying in the garage waiting for the track to dry from overnight rains.
Hamilton didn’t put in any laps until there were only about 10 minutes left in the session. He was 0.254 seconds behind Verstappen.
The drivers face a good chance of rain in afternoon qualifying and for the race on Sunday at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.
Defending champion Verstappen topped all three practice sessions. Hamilton is vying to secure his fifth career F1 championship and can do it Sunday if he finishes at least seventh.
If Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel doesn’t win, Hamilton wins the title.
Overshadowed by a horrific crash involving Sophia Floersch was the fact that 19-year-old Dan Ticktum dominated and won the Macau Grand Prix – a victory that puts him closer to earning the superlicence required to allow him to race with Formula 1, according to Yahoo! Sports.
Ticktum won Macau’s qualification race as well as the Grand Prix, starting first in both events. For his victories, he earned 10 points, which combined with 25 for his runner-up finish in the European F3 Championship leaves him just five below the 40 needed for the license.
This was Ticktum’s second Macau Grand Prix victory.
“It was a dominant performance that I was preparing for,” Ticktum said on his web site. “I don’t think I’ve ever prepared as hard as I did for this race and it all worked out. In the final race a lot of variables were thrown at me but I handled them.”
On his way to victory lane, Ticktum had to survive several restarts including the lengthy red flag period following Floersch’s accident to repair the barrier.
“I can’t count how many safety car restarts we had to do,” Ticktum said. “It puts a lot of pressure on a driver here with such a long run down to the first corner. I can’t remember a weekend when I’ve put it all together so well.
“The car was absolutely perfect all weekend, it was so good and I can’t thank Motopark enough for that. I’ve never been so involved in the set-up, felt so at one with the car as I did this weekend.”