Max Verstappen clinched his sixth pole position of 2022 F1 season as he topped Qualifying to claim pole for 2022 Mexico City Grand Prix.
Mercedes continued their form from Friday Practice as George Russell topped FP3 before a tense tussle endured throughout Qualifying between Mercedes and Red Bull, which was ultimately won by Verstappen who starts from pole as he chases a record 14th victory in a single season.
Russell and Lewis Hamilton though mounted a competitive drive to put themselves right in the mix for the race win, although home favourite – Sergio Perez can’t be discounted from fourth position on the grid after a tricky Qualifying session for the Mexican.
Now, here is a full roundup of FP3 and Qualifying for 2022 Mexico City GP.
Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas and Guanyu Zhou were first out on track but whilst Zhou pitted, Bottas set the initial benchmark lap time of 1m 21.462 on medium tyres.
Charles Leclerc then Carlos Sainz went fastest with the Spaniard posting 1m 19.884 on softs to displace the former pair, as Perez soon slotted into second place on the timesheet only to be displaced by Leclerc.
Russell meanwhile went fastest on soft tyres with 1m 19.405 in the 12th minute until Verstappen went top on his first flier ten minutes later with 1m 19.296 on the softest tyre compound, and he found 0.178 seconds on his next lap to lower his benchmark time as he led at the halfway mark of session.
Russell responded on his Qualifying simulation lap in the 38th minute with 1m 18.399 to top the session in a Mercedes one-two finish, ahead of Hamilton as Verstappen made various errors on his Qualifying simulation laps to finish third ahead of Leclerc, Perez and Sainz.
|1||George Russell||Mercedes||1m 18.399|
|2||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes||+ 0.144|
|3||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||+ 0.477|
|4||Charles Leclerc||Ferrari||+ 0.724|
|5||Sergio Perez||Red Bull||+ 0.842|
|6||Carlos Sainz||Ferrari||+ 0.902|
|7||Lando Norris||McLaren||+ 0.918|
|8||Valtteri Bottas||Alfa Romeo||+ 0.991|
|9||Yuki Tsunoda||AlphaTauri||+ 1.483|
|10||Alex Albon||Williams||+ 1.518|
|11||Esteban Ocon||Alpine||+ 1.561|
|12||Guanyu Zhou||Alfa Romeo||+ 1.620|
|13||Fernando Alonso||Alpine||+ 1.638|
|14||Daniel Ricciardo||McLaren||+ 1.740|
|15||Pierre Gasly||AlphaTauri||+ 1.931|
|16||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin||+ 2.078|
|17||Mick Schumacher||Haas||+ 2.198|
|18||Nicholas Latifi||Williams||+ 2.449|
|19||Sebastian Vettel||Aston Martin||+ 2.587|
|20||Keivin Magnussen||Haas||+ 2.872|
Haas’ Magnussen and Schumacher were first out on track with the pair opting to practice the tow, with the latter proceeding to set the benchmark lap time of 1m 21.024 after two warm-up laps, although Albon soon posted 1m 20.859 to go fastest.
Tsunoda then Perez went quicker only for Leclerc to post 1m 19.505 in the eighth minute to go fastest, although the Monegasque was displaced two minutes later as Verstappen went quicker by 0.283s as the latter posted 1m 19.222 to go top.
Once everyone had posted their first representative lap times, the elimination zone compromised of Schumacher, Albon, Vettel, Magnussen and Latifi, whilst Perez was forced to do a second flier which saw him improve from 10th position to sixth on the timesheet.
Once the checkered flag fell amidst heavy track evolution in the closing minutes, only Magnussen survived as he became the first-ever Haas driver to escape Q1 in Mexico.
Schumacher and Vettel were eliminated in 16th and 17th ahead of Stroll, Albon and Latifi, although a three-place penalty for Stroll – due to causing a collision with Alonso in US GP – will mean he starts behind Albon and Latifi on the grid.
Hamilton meanwhile topped Q1 on his final lap of the segment as he posted 1m 19.169 to finish quickest.
A quiet start saw nobody head out in the opening two minutes until Hamilton and Russell eventually were first to venture out onto the circuit, with Hamilton setting the first Q2 benchmark time of 1m 18.552 just 0.013s ahead of Russell.
Bottas meanwhile surprisingly went third for Alfa Romeo ahead of Verstappen and Ocon, whilst Leclerc and Sainz were sixth and eighth after both Ferrari drivers ran opening Q2 laps on used soft tyres.
Upon completion of opening Q2 flying laps, the bottom five compromised of; Tsunoda, Perez, Zhou, Gasly and Magnussen.
Perez ventured out with five minutes left for his second Q2 run which paid off as he posted 1m 18.615 to go third quickest to ease any fears of a shock Q2 exit at his home race, as he in-turn dropped Ricciardo into the elimination zone.
As the checkered flag fell, none of the drivers within the bottom five following Perez’s second flier managed to survive as Ricciardo qualified 11th ahead of; Zhou, Tsunoda, Gasly and Magnussen, although Magnussen will start last due to a five-place grid penalty for a change of combustion engine.
Perez was first out on track in Q3 and proceeded to set the initial benchmark lap time of 1m 18.153 but Verstappen went even quicker with 1m 17.947 to take provisional pole at end of the first Q3 runs.
Russell slotted into second ahead of Perez, Sainz, Bottas, Leclerc, Alonso, Norris, Ocon and Hamilton, although Hamilton had initially gone second until his lap time was deleted for exceeding track limits at Turn 3.
Like for the first run of the final section of Qualifying, Perez was again first out on track for his final Q3 run but nobody could beat Verstappen, who lowered his benchmark to 1m 17.775 to claim his sixth pole position of this season.
Russell qualified second following a final lap mistake ahead of Hamilton, Perez, Sainz, Bottas, Leclerc, Norris, Alonso and Ocon.
|1||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||1m 17.775|
|2||George Russell||Mercedes||+ 0.304|
|3||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes||+ 0.309|
|4||Sergio Perez||Red Bull||+ 0.353|
|5||Carlos Sainz||Ferrari||+ 0.576|
|6||Valtteri Bottas||Alfa Romeo||+ 0.626|
|7||Charles Leclerc||Ferrari||+ 0.780|
|8||Lando Norris||McLaren||+ 0.946|
|9||Fernando Alonso||Alpine||+ 1.164|
|10||Esteban Ocon||Alpine||+ 1.235|
|11||Daniel Ricciardo||McLaren||1m 19.325|
|12||Guanyu Zhou||Alfa Romeo||+ 0.151|
|13||Yuki Tsunoda||AlphaTauri||+ 0.264|
|14||Pierre Gasly||AlphaTauri||+ 0.347|
|15||Kevin Magnussen||Haas||+ 0.508|
|16||Mick Schu,acher||Haas||1m 20.419|
|17||Sebastian Vettel||Aston Martin||+ 0.000|
|18**||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin||+ 0.101|
|19||Alex Albon||Williams||+ 0.440|
|20||Nicholas Latifi||Williams||+ 0.748|
*Kevin Magnussen will start from 20th on grid due to a five-place grid penalty for a change of combustion engine.
** Lance Stroll must serve a three-place grid penalty for causing a collison with Fernando Alonso at US GP and will therefore start 19th.