Mexican GP: Ricciardo on top, Hamilton spins in dusty FP2

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Daniel Ricciardo has blitzed to the top of the time sheets in the second Practice session for the Mexican Grand Prix in a spin riddled hit-out which included a major moment for Lewis Hamilton.

The Australian set a 1:17.801 on the Ultra Soft tyre to go 0.131s quicker than Hamilton, who struggled to get to grips with the dusty circuit with a spin at the end of the esses.

The Brit looped his Mercedes on the exit of Turn 12, severely flat spotting the set of SuperSoft tyres which he was on, returning to the garage immediately.

After spending a number of minutes in the garage, the current championship leader rejoined the circuit as the Qualifying simulations began.

Valtteri Bottas went quickest on the Soft compound tyre in the Qualli sims, before his lap was bettered by Hamilton who went 0.4s faster on Ultra Softs.

Both Mercedes drivers improved on their next lap, with Hamilton eventually dipping into the 1min 17s, on a 1:17.932 as Max Verstappen jumped into third, Sebastian Vettel fourth and Kimi Raikkonen fifth.

Ricciardo then sailed to the top of the time sheets with his 1:17.801, and stayed there as the long runs began.

An early red flag was thrown just three minutes into the session when Romain Grosjean spun at the final corner, giving his Haas a subsequent puncture.

The Frenchman continued on, but his left rear tyre delaminated half way down the main straight, leaving debris strewn across the track and needing a red flag to be cleaned up.

Thing got back under way with 1 hour and 15-minutes left on the clock, however, Stoffel Vandoorne wasn’t able to rejoin the circuit with a loose wheel halting him at the end of pit-lane.

A specific area of interest in the session was Turn 5, with both Carlos Sainz in the Renault and Lance Stroll in his Williams looping it in the tricky, dusty complex.

Before the end of the first 60-minutes, Vettel had a strange issue out on track when a fire extinguisher accidentally went off in his cockpit, leaving a white spot on his overalls as he clambered out of the car after returning to the pits.

Ferrari quickly replaced the extinguisher unit on Vettel’s car and sent the German back out on a Qualifying simulation run.

The top five remained the same at the chequered flag, while Bottas claimed sixth and Fernando Alonso seventh.

Sergio Perez, Nico Hulkenberg and Esteban Ocon rounded out the top ten, with Brendon Hartley splitting the two Williams in 13th for Toro Rosso.

Vandoorne ended up 15th fastest followed by Pascal Wehrlein, Kevin Magnussen, Marcus Ericsson and Piere Gasly, who has a power unit failure in the early stages of the session.

Grosjean only completed three laps having stayed in pit lane after he caused the early red flag with his spin and puncture.