It was a Mercedes 1-2 this afternoon in Mexico City as Lewis Hamilton took pole position with a 1m18.704s lap, more than two tenths faster than his teammate Nico Rosberg. A Red Bull second row of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo looked like they would split the silver arrows for most of Q3, until Rosberg bested both on his final lap of qualifying for P2.
Both Ferraris were bested by a strong performance by Nico Hulkenberg’s Force India, who took 5th in the closing minutes. Several teams found yesterday’s cooler temperatures and dusty track surface too difficult to improve their setups on today, with tires and brakes not reaching optimum temperatures.
Trailing by 26 points, Hamilton must finish 10th or better this weekend if Nico wins tomorrow’s race in order to keep his title hopes alive in the final two races later this month in Brazil and Abu Dhabi. Several mechanical failures have plagued Hamilton this season, but he’s remained focused on the race at hand, sharing later:
“I turned up to do the job and I’m going to try to do the same thing as I did last week here. So far this weekend has gone well…looking forward to the race, the long runs seem to be good, the car feels great, so I’m just looking forward to getting out on track.”
This was Hamilton’s 59th pole, and both he and Rosberg will start on soft tires tomorrow.
— Formula 1 (@F1) October 29, 2016