RISING STAR: Red Bull's Max Verstappen was in good form during the final practice session for the Mexico Grand Prix. Image: AP / Darko Vojinovic
Mexico City - Red Bull's Max Verstappen topped the final practice Saturday at the Mexican Grand Prix ahead of qualifying, jumping ahead of Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton.
Hamilton's teammate, Nico Rosberg, who leads the season championship, had another frustrating session to place fourth.
Rosberg fourth quickest
Verstappen posted the quickest lap of 1minute19.137 seconds at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, with Hamilton 0.094 seconds back. Verstappen led the final practice at the US GP before qualifying fourth as Hamilton took the pole position there.
Hamilton trails Rosberg by 26 points in the championship race and has been comfortably ahead of his rival on the Mexico City circuit the first two days. Rosberg won on this track a year ago.
3rd Practice - As it happened
Rosberg can take the title outright if he wins Sunday and Hamilton finishes 10th or lower. Three races ago in Malaysia, Hamilton was leading late only to have an engine failure knock him out.
Mexican Grand Prix third free practice times Saturday:
1. Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull 1:19.137,
2. Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes-AMG 1:19.231,
3. Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull 1:19.370,
4. Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes-AMG 1:19.618,
5. Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams 1:19.811,
6. Sebastian Vettel (GER) Ferrari 1:19.937,
7. Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari 1:19.994,
8. Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams 1:19.997,
9. Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Force India 1:20.255,
10. Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Toro Rosso 1:20.325
11. Sergio Perez (MEX) Force India 1:20.472,
12. Daniil Kvyat (RUS) Toro Rosso 1:20.586,
13. Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren-Honda 1:20.600,
14. Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault 1:20.959,
15. Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren-Honda 1:21.152,
16. Marcus Ericsson (SWE) Sauber 1:21.245,
17. Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Haas 1:21.338,
18. Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Renault 1:21.345,
19. Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas 1:21.601,
20. Pascal Wehrlein (GER) Manor 1:21.758,
21. Estban Ocon (FRA) Manor 1:21.921,
22. Felipe Nasr (BRA) Sauber 1:22.354