Live: F1 Mexican GP commentary and updates - FP3 & qualifying

Follow along for minute-by-minute updates of FP3 and qualifying ahead of Formula 1's Mexico City GP.

Live: F1 Mexican GP commentary and updates - FP3 & qualifying

Although the F1 titles are already sewn up in favour of Max Verstappen and Red Bull, the final three races will shape the rest of the championship order, as Charles Leclerc and Sergio Perez battle over the runner-up spot in the championship.

Carlos Sainz and George Russell headed Friday's practice sessions as the day was dominated by the reveal of Red Bull's cost cap punishment - and the team received a $7m fine and a 10% reduction in aerodynamic testing for next season.

Aston Martin also received a fine for its procedural breach of the cost cap rules, totalling $450k.

By: Stephen Lickorish, Jake Boxall-Legge

Summary

  • Verstappen grabs pole in close battle for pole in F1 Mexican GP qualifying
  • Russell made slight mistake when challenging for pole and has to settle for second
  • Out in Q2: Ricciardo, Zhou, Tsunoda, Gasly, Magnussen
  • Out in Q1: Schumacher, Vettel, Stroll, Albon, Latifi

Leaderboard

  1. Verstappen, Red Bull
  2. Russell, Mercedes
  3. Hamilton, Mercedes
  4. Perez, Red Bull
  5. Sainz, Ferrari
  6. Bottas, Alfa Romeo
  7. Leclerc, Ferrari
  8. Norris, McLaren
  9. Alonso, Alpine
  10. Ocon, Alpine
Status: Stopped
And that's all from us! We'll see you tomorrow for the Mexico City Grand Prix - have a good evening/afternoon/rest of the day!
Here's the report from a very closely contested qualifying in Mexico: https://www.autosport.com/f1/news/f1-mexican-gp-verstappen-beats-mercedes-to-pole-leclerc-seventh/10392425/
Hamilton: "This is the best qualifying we've had all year. It just shows that perseverance and never giving up can pay off. I'm quite happy with that position - it's a long way to Turn 1."
Russell: "The team deserved more today. They've produced a really great car this weekend. This weekend, it felt like our pole to have and I did a terrible lap at the end."
Verstappen: "It was a good qualifying! It was a close one, but after FP3 we made a few adjustments and got the car into a better rhythm."
The mariachi band playing the F1 theme is a nice touch! I think we should have more local music styles play it around the world...
"Sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry," Russell says of his late-session wide into the Foro Sol, sounding like a man trying to get through a tightly-packed crowd.
Russell has second on the grid, with Hamilton third ahead of Perez. Sainz and Leclerc were once again split by Bottas, and Norris outqualified the Alpine duo.
And it's a 1m17.775s for Verstappen! Hamilton can only go third fastest, as Russell's lost a huge chunk of time in the final sector! Verstappen has pole!
Perez does a 1m18.128s to go up to third, but Verstappen's looking very good value here as the Ferraris don't improve...
It's time for Phase 2 of the pole battle. Perez, again, will be the first to have a crack at Verstappen's benchmark.
Alonso, who was slightly out of synch with the rest, goes seventh despite a 50-50 grind through the exit kerb at the Foro Sol. Good for Tony Hawk's Pro Skater combo points, less so for lap time.
"Drivability issues," Hamilton reports. "Power dropping out". Hamilton got very on the kerb at Turn 3, hence his time deletion.
Bottas has split the Ferraris with a 1m18.798s, as Sainz's lap is marginally compromised by a little slide through the Esses. Leclerc struggled with Turn 4 in the meantime.
The Mercedes duo gets so close - but so far! A 1m18.079s for Russell, as Hamilton's 1m18.094s gets pinged for track limits!
But Verstappen can, and it's a 1m17.947s! That's a big lap.
It's a 1m18.153s for Perez, a very good benchmark, and neither Leclerc or Sainz can get near it after these first runs.
We've got all of the drivers on track except Alonso. Perez is first to begin a lap.
And the final part of qualifying is away. Here we go.
"No grip, it was a clean lap but no grip," Gasly says. Since his Alpine move was announced, he's got grievances and you're gonna hear about 'em!
Eliminated in Q2: Ricciardo, Zhou, Tsunoda, Gasly, Magnussen.
Zhou isn't able to improve either, so there's not much change in the order.
Norris can't improve and he's ninth at the moment, but team-mate Ricciardo can't get out of the bottom five - he's 11th for now! The AlphaTauris also miss out on Q3.
Verstappen hurls his Red Bull up to third, ahead of Perez, but Sainz then puts his Ferrari into second place to split the Mercedes pair!
Everyone's on track except Perez now, even the Mercedes duo, for the final part of the session.
I have a funny feeling that Perez might be popular in these parts - just a hunch. He gets himself up to third place, which should be enough for a Q3 berth.
With five minutes left, the drop zone is currently Tsunoda, Perez, Zhou, Gasly and Magnussen. Perez leaves the pits on new tyres.
The Ferraris set their times, and Leclerc places his into fifth for now, as Sainz goes seventh. Ocon then fires his Alpine into fifth afterwards.
Bottas then gets his Alfa Romeo into third with a time just 0.228s slower than Hamilton. Russell meanwhile reports that his brakes don't feel right.
Verstappen is 0.382s off Hamilton, but he's on used boots. Norris is currently P4, ahead of Ricciardo.
Straight out of the gate, Hamilton posts a 1m18.552s, as Russell posts a 1m18.565s. That's quite a statement.
The Mercedes duo breaks the deadlock, as do the AlphaTauris and Red Bulls.
Q2 is underway, but we have no takers thus far. Anyone?
 
"I honestly don't understand," says Albon, who went off during the Esses section and thus does not progress to Q2.
Eliminated in Q1: Schumacher, Vettel, Stroll, Albon, Latifi.
"Can't believe it man, we're so slow!" Vettel says. He's not liked the balance of his AMR22 all weekend.
Vettel goes 16th fastest but can't get out of the bottom five, and nor can Albon! Meanwhile, Zhou gets himself out of the drop zone right at the end, dumping Schumacher out!
Tsunoda lifts himself to eighth, before Norris puts his McLaren in P7. Ricciardo, who dropped into the bottom five, lifts himself out as the Haas duo sit on the brink...
The Ferraris and Red Bulls stay in for the last part of the session, as everyone else hits the road.