until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Formula 1

Verstappen beats Mercedes pair to Mexican GP pole

by Matt Beer
3 min read

Formula 1 world champion Max Verstappen stayed safely clear of a surprise Mercedes challenge to take pole for the Mexican Grand Prix.

Mercedes had been 1-2 in final practice then topped both Q1 and Q2 with Lewis Hamilton.

Motor Racing Formula One World Championship Mexican Grand Prix Qualifying Day Mexico City, Mexico

Q2 had been extraordinarily close – just 0.063 seconds covering the top five – but Verstappen raised the bar in Q3.

He was helped by the final segment being a messy one for Mercedes. Hamilton had his first flying lap, which was only good for third at that point anyway, deleted for a track limits breach, while George Russell made an error on his last lap.

That meant Verstappen’s 1m17.775s for Red Bull gave him pole by 0.304s over Russell and 0.309s over Hamilton.

Home hero Sergio Perez wasn’t a pole threat and starts fourth.

Ferrari struggled throughout, with Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc only fifth and seventh, split by Valtteri Bottas’s Alfa Romeo.

Motor Racing Formula One World Championship Mexican Grand Prix Practice Day Mexico City, Mexico

Bottas’s position wasn’t just down to Ferrari underperformance – he’d been a brilliant fourth in Q1 and sixth in Q2 too.

Lando Norris’s McLaren and the Alpines of Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon completed the top 10.

Daniel Ricciardo was just 0.053s shy of joining McLaren team-mate Norris in Q3 as he qualified 11th ahead of Zhou Guanyu – who couldn’t match team-mate Bottas’s heroics – and the AlphaTauris.

Mick Schumacher had a lap comfortably good enough for Q2 deleted over a track limits infringement, though he’ll still start 15th when Haas team-mate Kevin Magnussen’s five-place penalty for engine component changes is applied.

Aston Martin had struggled all day and couldn’t get either car beyond Q1, qualifying ahead of only the two Williams.

Qualifying Results

Pos Name Car Q1 Q2 Q3
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1m19.222s 1m18.566s 1m17.775s
2 George Russell Mercedes 1m19.583s 1m18.565s 1m18.079s
3 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m19.169s 1m18.552s 1m18.084s
4 Sergio Pérez Red Bull 1m19.706s 1m18.615s 1m18.128s
5 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 1m19.566s 1m18.56s 1m18.351s
6 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1m19.523s 1m18.762s 1m18.401s
7 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1m19.505s 1m19.109s 1m18.555s
8 Lando Norris McLaren-Mercedes 1m19.857s 1m19.119s 1m18.721s
9 Fernando Alonso Alpine-Renault 1m20.006s 1m19.272s 1m18.939s
10 Esteban Ocon Alpine-Renault 1m19.945s 1m19.081s 1m19.01s
11 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren-Mercedes 1m20.279s 1m19.325s
12 Guanyu Zhou Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1m20.283s 1m19.476s
13 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri-Red Bull 1m19.907s 1m19.589s
14 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri-Red Bull 1m20.256s 1m19.672s
15 Kevin Magnussen Haas-Ferrari 1m20.293s 1m19.833s
16 Mick Schumacher Haas-Ferrari 1m20.419s
17 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin-Mercedes 1m20.419s
18 Lance Stroll Aston Martin-Mercedes 1m20.52s
19 Alex Albon Williams-Mercedes 1m20.859s
20 Nicholas Latifi Williams-Mercedes 1m21.167s
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