Lewis Hamilton has narrowly beaten team-mate Nico Rosberg to take pole position for the Mexican Grand Prix. The world champion beat his team-mate by .284 of a second after finding a narrow margin in sector three in the closing moments off the session.
Once again like last weekend both Red Bull’s out qualified the Ferraris. But throughout the session Max Verstappen looked to have the edge over Rosberg in the session. Hamilton will be hoping to have Verstappen behind him and ahead of Rosberg if he is going to have any hope of his fourth world title.
Rosberg knows if Hamilton is tenth or lower he will become world champion. But the man who looks to be on course for a historic championship appears to be on the back foot compared to Hamilton. However, it has been a weekend for Rosberg who has been struggling for pace.
Rosberg said “Lewis’ lap was brilliant, not so much mine, but I put it together when it counted so I’m pleased with that. It still gives me a great chance for tomorrow.”
Hamilton told Sky Sports “He has struggled all weekend, but did the job right at the end. He wasn’t happy with the set-up that he had had, we have identical set-ups now, and he was able to pull the car round and get a good job in his last lap of Q3.”
Daniel Riccardo will start fourth just a few tenths behind his team-mate. But the teams all had difficulties getting time at the start of the lap but all pulled it together in the last sector. The Force India of Nico Hulkenberg was the surprise with the German driver going ahead of both the Ferrari’s.
Kimi Raikkonen was .005 of a second faster than Sebastian Vettel with them looking to taking much advantage of the strategy faded with their pace in Q3. Vettel also held up Hamilton up during the session. The Fin looked to have had a engine problems.
Williams Valtteri Bottas will start eighth fastest after going .481 faster than team-mate Felipe Massa. Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz was tenth fastest starting ahead of McLaren’s Fernando Alonso.
However, for team-mate Sergio Perez he failed to make it into the final session disappointing his fans at his home race. The Mexican was just pushed out of Q3 in the final moments of Q2 by Button. Like Perez fellow Mexican Esteban Guttierrez also struggled failing to get his Haas out of Q1.
Jolyon Palmer will start last after not taking part in qualifying because he damaged its chassis over a kerb in final practice and he needed a new monocoque for the race.