Hamilton takes Mexican Grand Prix pole


Lewis Hamilton achieved his fifty ninth pole position for the Mexican Grand Prix, while championship rival Nico Rosberg recovered from fourth to take second with his final lap.

Hamilton did a lap time good enough for pole on his first run in the Q3 top ten shootout and was unable to improve on his second attempt.

But Rosberg had the most to do on his second runs, as he was initially only fourth quickest, behind Hamilton and Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo.

With all drivers using super-softs during Q3, Verstappen and Ricciardo were only able to make tiny improvements on their second runs in an attempt to consolidate second and third positions.

Rosberg, who has had a tough weekend, managed to do enough on his final run to jump to second, one tenth faster than Verstappen.

Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg first run in Q3 was enough for fifth position. A solid effort.

Ferrari had a disappointing qualifying, with Kimi Raikkonen unable to improve on his first run time and ending up sixth and Sebastian Vettel moving from eighth to seventh on his final run.

Williams pairing Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa were eighth and ninth, with Carlos Sainz completing the top ten.

The Silver Arrows drivers, as well as the two Scuderia Ferrari drivers, will start the Mexican Grand Prix on the soft-compound Pirellis having set their fastest times in Q2 using the slower rubber.

Raikkonen did go out on super-softs in Q2, but did not improve on his soft time.

McLaren driver Fernando Alonso missed out on a place in Q3 by 0.113s seconds to Sainz, and will start P11.

Crowd favourite and hero Sergio Perez was unable to improve his lap time on his second run using super-softs, having set a time ultimately good enough for P12 using the softs.

Jenson Button took P13 for McLaren ahead of Renault’s Kevin Magnussen, Sauber driver Marcus Ericsson and Pascal Wehrlein.

Wehrlein had earlier put in a brilliant last lap on a third run in Q1 to reach Q2.

Haas driver Esteban Gutierrez was fastest of those eliminated in Q1 having spun in the Esses while trying to improve on his final flying lap.

Although he held P16 at the time, Wehrlein’s late effort then bumped him down to P18.

Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat was only able to complete a single four-lap run, reporting a total loss of power and returning to the pits and not running again.

Felipe Nasr was P19 and ahead of the Manor of Esteban Ocon, while Romain Grosjean had a trouble session.

Grosjean was unable to post a lap time on his first run after locking up and going off at Turn 12, before being called back into the pits because he didn’t have enough fuel to do another run.

Although the Haas driver did set a time during a seven-lap run on his second set of super-softs, he was unable to threaten the top 16 and lost time on his final attempt when Gutierrez spun in front of him.

Jolyon Palmer was unable to participate in qualifying after suffering chassis damage from clouting a kerb during the final practice session.

Mexican Grand Prix, qualifying positions:
1    Lewis Hamilton    Mercedes    1m18.704s
2    Nico Rosberg    Mercedes    1m18.958s
3    Max Verstappen    Red Bull-Renault    1m19.054s
4    Daniel Ricciardo    Red Bull-Renault    1m19.133s
5    Nico Hulkenberg    Force India-Mercedes    1m19.330s
6    Kimi Raikkonen    Ferrari    1m19.376s
7    Sebastian Vettel    Ferrari    1m19.381s
8    Valtteri Bottas    Williams-Mercedes    1m19.551s
9    Felipe Massa    Williams-Mercedes    1m20.032s
10    Carlos Sainz    Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1m20.378s
11    Fernando Alonso    McLaren-Honda    1m20.282s
12    Sergio Perez    Force India-Mercedes    1m20.287s
13    Jenson Button    McLaren-Honda    1m20.673s
14    Kevin Magnussen    Renault    1m21.131s
15    Marcus Ericsson    Sauber-Ferrari    1m21.536s
16    Pascal Wehrlein    Manor-Mercedes    1m21.785s
17    Esteban Gutierrez    Haas-Ferrari    1m21.401s
18    Daniil Kvyat    Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1m21.454s
19    Felipe Nasr    Sauber-Ferrari    1m21.692s
20    Esteban Ocon    Manor-Mercedes    1m21.881s
21    Romain Grosjean    Haas-Ferrari    1m21.916s
22    Jolyon Palmer    Renault    No time

6 thoughts to “Hamilton takes Mexican Grand Prix pole”

  1. Mexican Grand Prix qualifying review as reported by Formula1.com:

    For a while it seemed that the Red Bull duo would separate the Mercedes on the grid for the Formula 1 Gran Premio de Mexico 2016, as championship leader Nico Rosberg was fourth, well behind team mate Lewis Hamilton who was firmly on pole. But on his final run Rosberg managed to vault past Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo to claim the other front-row grid slot. By comparison, Ferrari were nowhere.

    Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg starred as he beat the scarlet cars of Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel to secure fifth. The Williams of Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa, and Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz completed the top ten.

    Conditions were the best they’d been so far this weekend at the start of Q1, with 50 degrees Celsius track temperature at the start, and 17 degrees ambient.

    Of the frontrunners, Hamilton set the early pace with 1m 19.770s, but that was then beaten by Vettel with 1m 19.865s, Verstappen with 1m 19.874s and Raikkonen with 1m 19.554s, and then Ricciardo did 1m 19.713s. At one stage Mercedes were only fifth and sixth after Rosberg had improved to 1m 19.996s. But then Hamilton got a good, clean run to go fastest by 0.107s on 1m 19.447s.

    Further back, Manor’s Pascal Wehrlein bounced local hero Esteban Gutierrez with 1m 21.363s right at the end, just after the Mexican had spun his Haas in Turn 9 trying to improve on 1m 21.401s. Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat was left 18th on 1m 21.454s after complaining of power loss, and Felipe Nasr was unable to repeat his Sauber team mate’s 13th fastest time and was 19th after trailing him by six-tenths. Esteban Ocon in the second Manor was 20th on 1m 21.881s, as a troubled Romain Grosjean couldn’t better 1m 21.916s for 21st after having to avoid his spinning team mate at the end.

    Missing altogether from the session was Jolyon Palmer, who had been 14th in FP3. After that session a crack was found in the monocoque of his Renault, necessitating a rebuild around the spare tub. As a result, he will start Sunday’s race at the stewards’ discretion from the back of the grid.

    The track temperature had reached 52 degrees C by the start of Q2, as Mercedes and Ferrari opted to start on soft rubber. Hamilton was the first to go fast, with 1m 19.137s, but complained of Vettel’s presence in the stadium section during the lap, telling his crew: “That was a clear block.” Vettel in turn complained that his crew had not warned him of the world champion’s pending arrival. His best was 1m 19.385s, Rosberg’s 1m 19.761s and Raikkonen’s 1m 19.936s.

    Then the Red Bulls went out on supersofts, and Verstappen sprang to the top ahead of Hamilton with 1m 18.972s. But Ricciardo’s effort was less stellar, leaving him fourth on 1m 19.553s.

    Raikkonen did another run, on supersofts, and Rosberg also ran again, still on softs. Neither improved, but Hulkenberg jumped to sixth.

    Some wholesale improvements further down saw Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz knock out countryman Fernando Alonso and McLaren out of Q3, with 1m 20.169s to 1m 20.282s, while just five-thousandths slower than the elder Spaniard was local hero Serio Perez, who could only muster 1m 20.287s in his Force India for 12th. Jenson Button had momentarily gone 10th with 1m 20.673s but that wasn’t fast enough and the McLaren driver slipped to 13th ahead of Kevin Magnussen in the sole Renault on 1m 21.131s, Marcus Ericsson on 1m 21.536s for Sauber, and Manor’s Wehrlein on 1m 21.785s.

    And so it all came down to Q3, as the track temperature sidled up to 54 degrees C.

    Again, Hamilton set the pace on the first runs, with 1m 18.704s. Verstappen got the closest with 1m 19.094s, despite some self-confessed mistakes, as Ricciardo took third with 1m 19.210s. Roberg’s effort yielded a lacklustre 1m 19.263s for fourth, as Hulkenberg excelled with 1m 19.330s and the Ferraris struggled. Raikkonen managed 1m 19.376s for sixth, Vettel eighth on 1m 20.087s.

    Hamilton didn’t quite improve on his second run, which was still enough at 1m 18.710s, and his 10th pole of the year was secure as Rosberg’s best was a much more respectable 1m 18.958s, putting him ahead of the Red Bulls even though both went faster. Verstappen trimmed to 1m 19.054s, Ricciardo to 1m 19.133s.

    Hulkenberg stayed fifth and Raikkonen sixth, as neither improved, while Vettel got down to 1m 19.381s for seventh ahead of the Williams duo of Bottas and Massa on 1m 19.551s and 1m 20.032s respectively. Sainz rounded out the leading 10 with 1m 20.378s.

    Thus the provisional grid reads: Hamilton, Rosberg; Verstappen, Ricciardo; Hulkenberg, Raikkonen; Vettel, Bottas; Massa, Sainz; Alonso, Perez; Button, Magnussen; Ericsson, Wehrlein; Gutierrez, Kvyat; Nasr, Ocon; Grosjean, Palmer.

  2. Formula 1 championship leader Nico Rosberg described title rival Lewis Hamilton’s pole position lap for the Mexican Grand Prix as “brilliant”, after struggling himself during qualifying.

    Rosberg failed to hook a decent lap together during free practice for the Mexico City F1 race, and found himself down in fourth and behind both Red Bulls after the first runs in Q3.

    He bounced back on his final run to join Mercedes team-mate Hamilton on the front row, but was still 0.254 seconds behind the reigning champion’s best effort.

    “Lewis’s lap was brilliant, not so much mine,” Rosberg said.

    “I put it together when it counted at the end, so I’m relatively pleased with that, to make sure I’m on the front row.

    “It’s not pole, of course, but it still gives me a great chance for tomorrow.”

    Rosberg said colder than expected temperatures at the Hermanos Rodriguez circuit made the car difficult to drive, and made it harder for him to get comfortable in the build-up to Q3.

    “It’s taken me a bit longer this weekend to find a way, with tyre temperatures being on the cold side all weekend, but I got there in the end,” Rosberg added.

    “I’m feeling optimistic. As we’ve seen this year pole is not everything on Sundays, so I’m sure there will opportunities to try and get that win.”

    Hamilton qualified well clear of the field, but was not happy with his performance in the final segment of the session.

    “Q3 was actually the worst session of whole weekend so far,” Hamilton said.

    “But I know going into tomorrow we’ve the right strategy, and the car in a good place for long runs.

    “It’s always a tough battle when you’re trying to pull out perfect laps, and when it counts is always a difficult thing, particularly with these tyres.

    “But at least there was a bit more grip on the track. It felt more like a racetrack [than earlier in the weekend], which is great.”

    Both Red Bulls improved on their final runs in Q3, but not by enough to deny Mercedes a front row lockout.

    Final practice pacesetter Max Verstappen felt more was possible with a cleaner run.

    “Generally qualifying felt good, I had a good feeling with the car, and it was getting better and better,” he said.

    “It’s just a shame in Q3 I couldn’t get a lap together – P2 was definitely possible, but we’re not too far behind, and we’re on a different strategy for tomorrow as well, so it will be interesting.”

    Verstappen and team-mate Daniel Ricciardo will start the race on the super-soft tyre, putting them on an alternative strategy to the Mercedes drivers.

    “There’s more degradation than the soft, so it’s up to me to make it last as long as we can,” Verstappen added.

    “With such a long run to the first corner, if you get a good start, there will be opportunities from there onwards.”

    Source: Autosport.com

  3. Daniel Ricciardo said he was surprised to qualify as high as he did given how poor his car felt during the session.

    “I don’t know how we’re so close to pole,” the Red Bull driver told reporters in Mexico. “I think four-tenths or something. I guess everyone just had handling issues out there. I thought it was pretty terrible balance.”

    “Even the last lap I don’t know how I went quicker. I’d been nearly four-tenths slower than my previous lap by turn six. It was a handful. We , you come and the altitude’s like this and the grip’s nowhere.”

    “Other than that I think fourth is great. But when I see pole I’m like, four-tenths, we pretty much missed that in the first sector. It’s like that I guess. It’s tricky out there. I wasn’t very happy with the balance but to come away with fourth I think we’re a bit lucky.”

    At the start of the race Ricciardo will have the benefit of being on the super-soft tyres while the Mercedes drivers ahead of him have chosen the harder soft tyres, as was also the case in the previous race.

    “I managed to get one last weekend so hopefully we’ll get two,” he said. “Well I need to get three, obviously there’s Max [Verstappen] as well. It’s a long run, I think that’s going to do us well, at least the first few laps.”

    “I think it worked for us. Austin, to be honest, everyone thought it was the wrong thing to do but we made it work for us.”

    “I’m alright for the race, just qualifying was really weird, it confusing. And Ferrari as well: if I’m unhappy with my balance I don’t know what they’re saying”.

    Source: F1Fanatic.co.uk

  4. McLaren’s Fernando Alonso has commented that started P11 will give the Honda-powered team a result at the Mexican Grand Prix. Article provided by Formula1.com.

    Fernando Alonso believes his 11th place grid position could bring McLaren an unintended advantage in Mexico on Sunday – although he admitted to mixed reactions to the fact he and McLaren are in a position where missing out on Q3 is something to be celebrated.

    Alonso had booked a provisional slot in the final part of qualifying, but was eliminated when Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg improved at the very end of Q2. But while it means the Spaniard will have started just one of the last eight Grands Prix from inside the top ten, he says that having free choice of starting tyre compound could prove more advantageous, given that McLaren are not fast enough to fight closer to the front at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.

    “Yes! Fantastic!” Alonso said over the team radio after being informed he had booked P11, two places up on team mate Jenson Button.

    Speaking to the media afterwards, he added: “It’s not very nice to be happy for being 11th, but in the situation that we are in I think it’s the best position for the start, on the clean side.

    “We were not quick enough unfortunately. A couple of races ago we were fighting for seventh or eighth, now we are fighting for ninth or 10th, so 11th – being able to choose race strategy and the tyres – is the best option.

    “Many things went our way today; we needed a bit of luck to get 11th position.”

    While Alonso expects to start on the soft tyres – the fastest strategy according to Pirelli is a two-stopper, using softs for the opening stints and mediums at the end – he said changing track conditions might yet throw up alternative options.

    “I think so,” he affirmed, when asked if he would start on softs. “The supersoft has been degrading a lot in the practice sessions, so it would be very risky to start with it tomorrow.

    “But the track is improving and there’s a better feeling with the tyres, so we’ll see. We have that possibility that the top 10 don’t have so we’ll try to seize it.”

    While McLaren’s form has varied race-to-race since the summer, Alonso has scored in five of the last seven races – including a season-best fifth place last weekend in Austin. As a result he now lies 10th in the championship, three points ahead of Williams’ Felipe Massa and just two behind Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg.

  5. This was a shocking qualifying performance from Sebastian Vettel and the four-time world champion is seeking answers following this horror show. F1Fanatic provides the story.

    Sebastian Vettel described his qualifying session as “horrible” after slumping to seventh on the grid for the Mexican Grand Prix.

    “That was horrible, horrible,” Vettel told his team on the way back to the pits. “I think the rear was better the end of the lap but overall grip was down at the beginning of the lap,” he added.

    Asked after qualifying why the team had struggled he replied: “What, you didn’t watch?”

    “We were just not quick enough,” he continued. “Struggling on the super-softs.”

    “On the softs it was very good and we were quicker than on the super-softs, which isn’t right.”

    Vettel told his team during qualifying the soft tyres were performing better than the super-softs. “These are better than the other ones,” he said. “I have more grip than on the super-softs. Think about what we can do.”

    “We don’t have any more of these,” his race engineer replied.

    Vettel also incurred the ire of Lewis Hamilton and Daniel Ricciardo who both reported they had been held up by the Ferrari driver in the final sector of the lap.

    “I did [block Hamilton],” Vettel admitted, “but I had no idea he was coming.”

    “I was told too late but it’s my mistake, if they give me a penalty then go ahead. Nothing I can do now.”

    Kimi Raikkonen qualifying sixth on the grid but complained of a loss of power. His engineer said there had been a problem with his engine.

  6. Nico Hulkenberg equalled his best qualifying performance of the year by taking fifth on the grid in Mexico with what he called a “mega” lap.

    “The car just got better and better through qualifying with the track gripping up,” Hulkenberg told reporters.

    While other drivers were perplexed by changing conditions in the final phase of qualifying, Hulkenberg said his car kept improving.

    “It’s obviously not a low-downforce track but due to the altitude it’s quite low-downforce,” he said. Track evolution just seemed to help the car and pick up the balance and the pace for us. And perhaps we did a good job as well understanding the tyres, getting them into the sweet spot.”

    Sergio Perez missed the cut for the top ten and was over half a second slower than his team mate in Q2. Hulkenberg said his best lap of the session came in the final minutes.

    “My first lap in Q3 was really mega, I don’t think there was anything more to squeeze out of there,” he said. “A really good qualifying.”

    Hulkenberg has been involved in lap one incidents three times so far this year including at the last race in Austin. He starts tomorrow’s race behind the two Mercedes and two Red Bulls.

    “You always have to be careful at the start but every start has a different dynamic,” he said. “You have to play it by ear, see where the gap is.”

    “I think last weekend qualifying went great but it was my mistake. It should be fun tomorrow.”

    Source: F1Fanatic.co.uk

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *