Formula 1 Commentary

F1 Mexican Grand Prix Live Commentary and Updates - FP3 & Qualifying

Live commentary and updates on Saturday's practice and qualifying for Formula 1's Mexican Grand Prix at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.

F1 Mexican Grand Prix Live Commentary and Updates - FP3 & Qualifying

By: Megan White, James Newbold

Summary


  • Qualifying for F1's Mexican Grand Prix is complete
  • Valtteri Bottas secures pole from Lewis Hamilton, Red Bull occupies second row
  • Gasly P5 from Sainz, Ricciardo, Leclerc, Tsunoda and Norris
  • Eliminated in Q1: Alonso, Latifi, Schumacher, Mazepin, Stroll
  • Eliminated in Q2: Vettel, Raikkonen, Russell, Giovinazzi, Ocon
Leaderboard
  1. Bottas, Mercedes
  2. Hamilton, Mercedes
  3. Verstappen, Red Bull
  4. Perez, Red Bull
  5. Gasly, AlphaTauri
  6. Sainz, Ferrari
  7. Ricciardo, McLaren
  8. Leclerc, Ferrari
  9. Tsunoda, AlphaTauri
  10. Norris, McLaren
Status: Stopped
That qualifying also sets up tomorrow's race perfectly. What a charge down to the first corner we have in store. Until then we'll bid you a good evening, but remember to check back tomorrow for the main event, with the Mexico City GP starting at 7pm GMT (1pm local time). Buenas noches!
What an action packed qualifying that was. Here's the full report: https://autosport.com/all/news/f1-mexican-gp-bottas-takes-pole-as-mercedes-stuns-red-bull-in-qualifying/6753268/
 
So, a 1-2 in qualifying for Mercedes and for Bottas a 19th career pole position in F1. I don't think many saw that coming.
Bottas on his pole position: "It was an awesome lap the first lap in Q3, I couldn't match it in the second lap but that first one was probably one of my best laps. It was a joy to drive."
Hamilton on P2 in qualifying: "Valtteri did an amazing job, he has been driving so well for the team. To lockout the front row is so special. They were six-tenths ahead at one stage but when we got to qualifying we had better pace. I am as shocked as everyone."
Verstappen on his final Q3 lap: "I wasn't sure what happened with the two guys in front of me, I thought there might be yellow flags so I backed out of it."
 

TV replays show it was Tsunoda who went off between Turns 10 and 11 initially, which disturbed Perez and he duly did the same. Later on the lap Verstappen locked up at Turn 13 which ended his impressive lap.

Bottas takes pole position for the Mexico City Grand Prix! It is a Mercedes 1-2 in qualifying with Hamilton in second. Verstappen has to settle for third with Perez in fourth.
Perez runs off track and wrecks his final Q3 lap, while Verstappen locks up coming into the stadium section. That's Red Bull's hopes for pole over!
Perez gets a tow off a Ferrari ahead of him and in turn gives his Red Bull team-mate Verstappen a tow at the start of this final Q3 lap. It is now or nothing.
All 10 cars are on the track, with the Mercedes pair right at the back of the queue with Bottas leading Hamilton.
The rear wing of Verstappen's car is taped up, which would definitely point to a problem with his car that hasn't been revealed by the team. Not much they can do about it now with the final Q3 runs coming up.
Over team radio Verstappen says the balance still isn't right and his Red Bull is still sliding around. After looking so impressive in practice, this would be a huge turnaround.
Norris locks up at Turn 1 and goes whizzing over the grass but avoids any further damage.
...Bottas is on provisional pole! The Finn puts in a 1m15.875s, with Hamilton slotting into second place 0.145s back. Verstappen is pushed back to third place and Perez is in fourth.
...Verstappen goes top early doors with a 1m16.225s, one-tenth up on team-mate Perez. Here come the Mercs...
First timed laps coming up from Mexico 'slipstream' City...
It is a stampede to pit exit for all 10 contenders in Q3. The Red Bulls and Ferraris get a bit muddled but they sort themselves out on the main straight. Now it is two by two for all five teams contesting this session. Very neat and tidy.
Here we go then for the pole position shootout!
Q3 will get underway in two minutes time - who are you backing for pole?
 
Hamilton did improve late on though, to go top with a 1m16.474s on the medium tyres. Both Tsunoda and Norris make it through to Q3 despite their back of the gird penalties.
It also ended any hopes of further late improvers, with Vettel out in P11, Raikkonen P12, Russell P13 (five-place grid penalty incoming), Giovinazzi P14 and Ocon P15 (back-of-grid penalty incoming).
Giovinazzi has spun off at Turn 12 and bangs into the barrier square on, meaning he can keeping, but that's his Q3 hopes wrecked.
Vettel moves up to 11th with a 1m17.746s but needs to find another three-tenths to break into the top 10.
Sainz opts for a second warm-up lap on his fresh set of medium tyres, so he won't be the first to set a timed lap during this last run.
Here they come, Sainz is out first followed by the Red Bulls and Norris.
As the track falls silent before the final Q2 runs, those outside of the top 10 are: Raikkonen, Giovinazzi, Ocon, Russell and Vettel.
Eagle-eyed Vettel radios that he has a visor tear-off stuck to his rear wing as he pits ahead of the second and final Q2 runs.
Tsunoda pops up to P3 with that lap on the softs, meaning he could make it through to Q3 and start on the softs but from the back. Hope you are keeping up with all that.
We do have two soft tyre runners but they are both drivers carrying the grid penalties - Tsunoda and Ocon - so it is the race to start at the back but not at the very back.
...that is until Verstappen puts in a 1m16.483s to go top. Then Hamilton goes P2 just 0.016s off his title rival. That's close.
The first Q2 laps are coming in and Perez currently leads with a 1m17.055s...
All the early Q2 runners are coming out on the medium tyres. Remember, the tyres that the drivers progress from Q2 on will be the ones they start the race on.
Anyway, enough about that, it is Q2 time!
The Q1 drama isn't over yet - an incident at pit exit involving Russell and Latifi will be investigated after the session. The stewards will be busy this evening.
Track evolution was the key there with plenty of late lap time gains, which saw Bottas take top spot at the end of the session, with Leclerc moving up to second place. Verstappen was dropped to third but he won't be too worried having only completed one run.
And Alonso is out in P16! He joins Latifi, Schumacher, Mazepin and Stroll as the drivers out in Q1.