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Ricciardo and Russell explain issues that saw them miss most of second practice in Mexico

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With a combined count of just nine laps in second practice, it wasn’t the best of sessions for McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo nor Williams’ George Russell as both retreated to the pits early on with gearbox issues. They explained how it affected their respective weekends after FP2 at the Mexico City Grand Prix, while it was later revealed that Russell will receive a grid penalty for a new gearbox.

Ricciardo was classified 15th in FP2 after setting his fastest lap 10 minutes into the session. After that, he limped back to the garage with the team stating: “We’ve identified an issue on the Friday gearbox which we’re analysing in the garage.”

READ MORE: FP2: Verstappen lays down a marker after topping second practice in Mexico City

The Australian said afterwards: “We had an issue, so came in, and let’s say there [were] a few checks to go through, so we couldn’t get back out – or let’s say it wasn’t worth the risk going back out, so I got a few laps in on the hard and then that was it. We have to get it all together tomorrow, but we will obviously have the morning session to get on top of it.

“It’s definitely not written off yet,” he added. “I mean it obviously gives us a bit more work to do but it’s definitely not out of reach. We’ve got some pace to find but I think [team mate] Lando [Norris]’s first run looked a little bit better this afternoon so we’ll try and dissect that and see what we can learn.”

Having taken pole at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in 2018 for Red Bull, a podium here for his former team in 2016 and P8 for Renault in the last Mexico Grand Prix, Ricciardo has a solid record at this circuit. With McLaren just 3.5 points ahead of Ferrari in the constructors’ standings, he’ll need another strong finish on Sunday.

As for Williams’ Russell, who also stopped in the garage with a gearbox issue but with just two warm-up laps and no time set, he will receive a grid penalty in Mexico having taken a new gearbox after the issues on Saturday.

READ MORE: Hamilton admits Red Bull are ‘definitely too quick for us’ after first day in Mexico

“There’s not a huge amount more to say to be honest. It was a gearbox failure so the guys are still looking into how it happened, if we can recover that gearbox, and where we go from there really. Not ideal, but it’s only Friday, and point are rewarded on Sunday,” said Russell.

With five races remaining, Williams lead Alfa Romeo 23-7 and are heading for P8 in the championship. That would be their best finish since 2017.

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