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Mexican GP: Vettel denies Verstappen pole by 0.086s

Sebastian Vettel claimed a dramatic pole position for the Mexican Grand Prix, knocking Red Bull driver Max Verstappen off top spot late on.

Mexican GP: Vettel denies Verstappen pole by 0.086s
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13
Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG F1 W08
Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren MCL32
Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren MCL32
Nico Hulkenberg, Renault Sport F1 Team RS17
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H
Sergio Perez, Sahara Force India F1 VJM10
Carlos Sainz Jr., Renault Sport F1 Team RS17
Sergio Perez, Sahara Force India VJM10
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF70H
Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren MCL32
Carlos Sainz Jr., Renault Sport F1 Team RS17
Lance Stroll, Williams FW40
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H
Brendon Hartley, Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12

Verstappen was quickest on the first runs in Q3 with a 1m16.574s, but lapped three tenths slower on his final attempt.

This allowed Ferrari driver Vettel to snatch pole with a lap of 1m16.488s, having been just over a quarter-of-a-second slower on the first runs.

Lewis Hamilton was third fastest for Mercedes after a moment in the Turn 12 right-hander cost him time in the final sector, meaning he had to rely on his first-run time.

This put him ahead of teammate Valtteri Bottas, who posted a lap good enough for fourth having had to abandon his first run without setting a time.

This was because of a lock-up at Turn 13 after passing the slow Verstappen, who is being investigated by stewards for impeding.

Kimi Raikkonen was fifth ahead of Esteban Ocon, with Daniel Ricciardo failing to improve on his final lap and ending up seventh.

Renault duo Nico Hulkenberg and Carlos Sainz were eighth and ninth ahead of Force India's Sergio Perez.

Williams drivers Felipe Massa and Lance Stroll were the only drivers among the five eliminated in Q2 to post a time.

Massa ended up 11th, missing out on a place in Q3 thanks to lapping 0.231s slower than Perez.

Stroll was over a second behind his teammate in 12th, with much of the time lost with a scruffy run through the stadium section late in the lap.

Brendon Hartley, on his second F1 appearance for Toro Rosso, reached Q2 for the first time but ended up 13th thanks to stopping with a loss of power exiting Turn 3 on his first flying lap.

With Alonso and Vandoorne carrying grid penalties of 35 and 20 places respectively, McLaren opted not to mount a serious assault on Q2 with both drivers completing a token run without attempting a flying lap – leaving them 14th and 15th.

Sauber duo Marcus Ericsson and Pascal Wehrlein were fastest of those eliminated in Q1 in 16th and 17th place respectively.

Both did three runs in Q1, but Wehrlein was bumped into the drop zone by Vandoorne late on, moments before Ericsson jumped ahead of him.

Wehrlein did not improve on his final lap but still ended up ahead of Haas duo Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean, who also both squeezed three runs into Q1.

Toro Rosso driver Pierre Gasly did not run in qualifying on his return to Formula 1 action after engine problems struck in free practice three.

The 21-year-old already carries at least a 15-place grid penalty thanks to power unit component changes made on Friday, and completed only 12 practice laps on his first appearance at Mexico City.

ClaDriverChassisEngineTimeGap
1 germany Sebastian Vettel  Ferrari Ferrari 1'16.488  
2 netherlands Max Verstappen  Red Bull TAG 1'16.574 0.086
3 united_kingdom Lewis Hamilton  Mercedes Mercedes 1'16.934 0.446
4 finland Valtteri Bottas  Mercedes Mercedes 1'16.958 0.470
5 finland Kimi Raikkonen  Ferrari Ferrari 1'17.238 0.750
6 france Esteban Ocon  Force India Mercedes 1'17.437 0.949
7 australia Daniel Ricciardo  Red Bull TAG 1'17.447 0.959
8 germany Nico Hulkenberg  Renault Renault 1'17.466 0.978
9 spain Carlos Sainz Jr.  Renault Renault 1'17.794 1.306
10 mexico Sergio Perez  Force India Mercedes 1'17.807 1.319
11 brazil Felipe Massa  Williams Mercedes 1'18.099 1.611
12 canada Lance Stroll  Williams Mercedes 1'19.159 2.671
13 new_zealand Brendon Hartley  Toro Rosso Renault    
14 sweden Marcus Ericsson  Sauber Ferrari 1'19.176 2.688
15 germany Pascal Wehrlein  Sauber Ferrari 1'19.333 2.845
16 denmark Kevin Magnussen  Haas Ferrari 1'19.443 2.955
17 france Romain Grosjean  Haas Ferrari 1'19.473 2.985
18 spain Fernando Alonso  McLaren Honda    
19 france Pierre Gasly  Toro Rosso Renault    
20 belgium Stoffel Vandoorne  McLaren Honda

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About this article

Series Formula 1
Event Mexican GP
Sub-event Saturday qualifying
Location Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez
Author Edd Straw
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