Mexico GP: Bottas on pole as Mercedes rumble Red Bull in qualifying

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Valtteri Bottas led an unexpected Mercedes 1-2 as Red Bull's supposed advantage deserted them in Mexico City Grand Prix qualifying.

The Finn has had the edge on teammate Lewis Hamilton all weekend and did so again when it mattered in Q3 to be the only driver under 1m16s with a 1m15.875s.

Hamilton will line up alongside on the front row but with Max Verstappen next to him in third, as the Dutchman's Mexico pole jinx continued.


The first part of qualifying saw a crash for Lance Stroll at the final corner causing a lengthy red flag after seven minutes to repair the barrier.

Once the session resumed, Valtteri Bottas went fastest with a late flying lap in the Mercedes.

In the knock out zone, Alpine's poor weekend continued with Fernando Alonso eliminated in 16th ahead of Nicholas Latifi for Williams in 17th.

Mick Schumacher was just a tenth behind the Canadian in 18th, while Haas teammate Nikita Mazepin followed in 19th.

All four drivers will gain four places on the grid, however, due to penalties for those in front.


The medium compound was the tyre of choice in Q2 with only Yuki Tsunoda and Esteban Ocon, both of whom have grid penalties, opting for the softs.

At the front, Hamilton set the pace by just 0.009s over Verstappen as the battle at the front heated up.

Tsunoda's faster tyres put him third and also put teammate Pierre Gasly in fifth thanks to a slipstream.

In the battle to make the top 10, Sebastian Vettel just missed out in 11th, ahead of former teammate Kimi Raikkonen in 12th.

George Russell was 13th but will drop places for a new gearbox. Antonio Giovinazzi claimed 14th but was lucky to avoid the barrier after going wide at Turn 12 on his final run.

Esteban Ocon was 15th but is another dropping to the back of the field due to engine penalties.


The session really turned in the first runs of Q3 as Red Bull bungled an attempt for Sergio Perez to give Verstappen a slipstream, with Max then having a poor lap too.

Meanwhile, Bottas set what would ultimately be his pole lap ahead of Hamilton as neither improved on the second run.

With a chance to recover, Checo did a much better job of helping his teammate but then an off for Tsunoda in the middle sector impacted both Red Bulls, leaving them third and fourth.

There was also question marks over the rear wings on the RB16B with tape clearly seen on the upper flap potentially linked to an issue with the DRS.

The various issues meant Gasly was only a tenth slower than Perez in fifth in the AlphaTauri, three-tenths up on the rest of the midfield group.

Ferrari once again had a slight upper hand on McLaren in their tussle for third in the Constructors' standings.

Carlos Sainz was just 0.002s faster than Daniel Ricciardo in sixth with Charles Leclerc under a tenth back in eighth.

Tsunoda and Lando Norris completed the top 10 but both will start at the back of the grid due to engine penalties.

There was a sting in the tail for Red Bull who were the clear favourites heading into qualifying.

Instead, a critical run to Turn 1 now lies ahead and a crucial race on a circuit where it is felt Verstappen needs to win for his hopes of a first F1 championship.

What a Sunday it promises to be...

Full results of qualifying can be seen below: