The F1 world championship leader produced a 1m17.301s to top FP2 by an impressive 0.424s from Valtteri Bottas, who had been fastest in the first practice session, with Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton slotting into third place.
That meant home hero Sergio Perez had to settle for fourth place in FP2, but did recover from a spin in first practice in which he badly damaged his rear wing at Turn 16.
Behind the two title-fighting teams, Carlos Sainz Jr led the midfield battle for Ferrari, with Pierre Gasly slotting into sixth place for AlphaTauri ahead of the second Ferrari of Charles Leclerc who also spun off at Turn 16 in FP1.
Yuki Tsunoda claimed eighth place in FP2 but will start from the back of the grid at the Mexican GP due to a power unit change, with Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll set to join him on the back row due to the same penalty.
Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin) and Fernando Alonso (Alpine) rounded out the top 10 in FP2 at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.
Both McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo and Williams’ George Russell missed the majority of FP2 due to separate mechanical issues.
What time does qualifying start for the Mexican Grand Prix?
Qualifying for the Mexican GP starts at 2pm local time (8pm GMT), using the regular Q1, Q2 and Q3 knockout session format.
Date: Saturday 6th November 2021
Start time: 2pm local time – 8pm GMT
Lando Norris, McLaren MCL35M
Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images
How can I watch qualifying?
In the United Kingdom every F1 practice, qualifying and race is broadcast live on Sky Sports F1, with Mexican GP qualifying coverage starting at 7pm GMT.
· Channel: Sky Sports F1
· Start time: 7:00pm GMT
Autosport will be running a live text coverage of qualifying here.
When can I watch the highlights of Mexican GP qualifying?
In the United Kingdom Channel 4 is broadcasting highlights of qualifying for the Mexican GP at 8:30am GMT on Sunday. The full programme will run for 60 minutes, covering both qualifying and wrapping up the major talking points of the race weekend so far.
For the entire 2021 F1 season, Channel 4 will broadcast highlights of every qualifying and race of each event. The highlights will also be available on Channel 4’s on demand catch up services.
· Channel: Channel 4
· Start time: 8:30am GMT (Sunday 6th November)
Will Mexican GP qualifying be on the radio?
Live radio coverage of every practice, qualifying and race for the 2021 F1 season will be available on the BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC 5 Live Sports Extra or via the BBC Sport website.
Coverage of Mexican GP qualifying will start at 7:55pm GMT on BBC 5 Live Sports Extra and the BBC Sounds app.
What’s the weather forecast for qualifying at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez?
Dry and sunny weather is forecast for Saturday afternoon for the start of qualifying at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City. The temperature is set to be 21 degrees Celsius at the start of qualifying – eight degrees cooler than qualifying for the United States GP.