Charles Leclercferrariformula onelewis hamilton First Published: October 25, 2019, 11:09 PM IST Get the best of News18 delivered to your inbox – subscribe to News18 Daybreak. Follow News18.com on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, TikTok and on YouTube, and stay in the know with what’s happening in the world around you – in real time. Mexico City: Lewis Hamilton made a strong start to his bid for a sixth world title on Friday when he topped the times for Mercedes in the opening free practice session at the Mexican Grand Prix.The 34-year-old clocked a best lap time in one minute and 17.327 seconds to outpace nearest rival Charles Leclerc of Ferrari by 1.684 seconds with last year’s winner Max Verstappen third ahead of his Red Bull team-mate Alex Albon. Hamilton’s only remaining rival for the drivers’ championship, Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas was down in fifth ahead of four-time champion Sebastian Vettel in the second Ferrari.Carlos Sainz was seventh for McLaren ahead of the two Toro Rossos of Pierre Gasly and Daniil Kvyat with Antonio Giovinazzi 10th for Alfa Romeo.On an overcast day in Mexico City, Lando Norris was the first man to venture out for McLaren ahead of the rest as Hamilton arrived at Mercedes’ garage followed by a crowd of cameramen.By the time he joined the fray, on track, 25 minutes later, Bottas was on top of the times.Hamilton soon took over, to be outpaced immediately by Vettel and then again by Bottas, illustrating immediately how competitive this weekend’s contest is likely to be.In riposte, the champion lapped in 1:19.004 to go quickest again.By this stage, it was clear that Turn One was causing problems and had caught out Kimi Raikkonen’s Alfa Romeo, Bottas and Vettel, all running off before re-joining via a grass run-off area while Leclerc, one-tenth quicker than Hamilton, took top spot at half-time.Albon, with a set of soft-compound tyres on his Red Bull, went quickest with 37 minutes remaining shortly before the session was red flagged when Racing Point’s Lance Stroll hit the barriers at the exit of the stadium section.The left side of his car was damaged, but he was unhurt and able to drive away and return to the pits.Twelve minutes later, with 20 remaining, the action resumed and prompted a frantic finale as Hamilton, on softs, went top again in 1:17.327 ahead of an improving Leclerc, on mediums.
Chennai Super Kings coach Stephen Fleming said Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja are “pretty sick”, an update that could leave fans, slowly gearing up to switch to World Cup mode, worried.Both players missed CSK’s 46-run defeat at the hands of Mumbai Indians on Friday night. Dhoni, their inspirational captain, was ruled out of the game owing to fever.Shedding light on Dhoni and Jadeja’s illness, Fleming said, “They (Dhoni and Jadeja) both are pretty sick… both unwell, virus and bacteria… A lot of teams are struggling at the moment through that.”With 314 runs at an average of above 100 from just seven innings, Dhoni has been leading the batting charts for CSK in the ongoing Indian Premier League.The World Cup starts May 30 in the United Kingdom, and both Dhoni and Jadeja are part of the Indian squad, which will begin its campaign on June 5 against South Africa.When CSK played without Dhoni for the first time in IPL 2019, they suffered a six-wicket thrashing by Sunrisers Hyderabad on April 17.CSK, who have sealed a place in the playoffs, will next face Delhi Capitals in Chennai on May 1.Fleming said the entire team is looking forward to the four-day break after having played six matches in the last two weeks.”We’re looking forward to the four-day break. It’s probably come one day bit too late. But we’ve got a four-day break now. I think Mumbai benefitted from that (five-day break). We are going to look to do the same now,” the former New Zealand captain said.advertisementMS Dhoni’s absence quite a big void: Stephen Fleming after MI crush CSKAlso Read | MS Dhoni’s absence quite a big void: Stephen Fleming after MI crush CSKAlso Read | CSK missed MS Dhoni’s presence in run chase: Rohit Sharma after MI winAlso Watch | Getting better with age, looking forward to the World Cup: Chris Gayle to India Today