Grand Prix of Mexico – Qualifying

Sure, both the Constructors’ and Drivers’ World Championships are now sewn up but this could be an exciting race … if only to see how Rosberg and Hamilton behave following the US GP last weekend.

For a change, the McLaren duo of BUT and ALO both have a heap of penalties waiting for them before they even reach Qualifying – at least 20 grid places each for a variety of engine/gearbox upgrades & replacements.

Air temperature 21°C; track 36°C; windy and a little overcast
Tyre compounds: prime=medium (white side wall); option=soft (yellow)

Qualifying session 1 (Q1)
BBC report that BUT won’t be running in Qualifying due to yet more problems with his car
Track looks damp but no standing water
NAS 1:23.400
BOT 1:22.622
(PER P2)
HAM 1:21.397
(ROS P2)
ROS 1:21.140
Radio from RAI thanking the team for fixing up his car after problems in FP3
HAM 1:20.995
HAM 1:20.808
5mins left of Q1; bottom 5 are NAS, ALO, RSI, STE & BUT
VET 1:20.503 on options (HAM & ROS are on primes)
ROS 1:20.436 now on options
Chequered flag; bottom 5 are ALO, NAS, RSI, STE, BUT

Qualifying session 2 (Q2)
VES 1:21.184
RIC 1:20.783
HAM 1:20.129
GRO locks up and runs wide
HAM 1:19.829
(ROS P2)
RAI loses the tail under braking; spins but recovers
5mins left; bottom 5 are VES, MAL, ERI, RAI, VET
RAI pits but he’s out of the car
(VET P2)
2mins left; bottom 5 are VES, MAS, MAL, ERI, RAI
Apparently it’s started to rain
Chequered flag; bottom 5 are VES, MAS, MAL, ERI, RAI
GRO makes a late decision to enter the pit lane
VES P8, relegating GRO
MAS P6, bumping SAI to P11
Middle of the grid: SAI, GRO, MAL, ERI, RAI

Qualifying session 3 (Q3)
HAM heads for the end of the pit lane, waiting for the light to change
Queue forms behind HAM as the clouds look more threatening
Both PER and HUL still in the garage
HAM 1:20.120
ROS 1:19.690
RIC P3
VES P3
BOT P5
KVY P3
MAS P6
VET P7
HAM 1:19.668
ROS 1:19.480
BOT P3
MAS P4
VET P3
KVY P4
5mins left of Q3; order is ROS, HAM, VET, KVY, BOT, MAS, VES, RIC; no time from PER or HUL
RIC P5
HUL P9
PER P10
Chequered flag; order is ROS, HAM, VET, KVY, RIC, BOT, MAS, VES, HUL, PER
HAM runs wide
PER P9
Provisional grid: ROS, HAM, VET, KVY, RIC, BOT, MAS, VES, PER, HUL; SAI, GRO, MAL, ERI, RAI*; ALO*, NAS, RSI, STE, BUT*
*Penalties to be applied: RAI = five-place grid drop for a gearbox change; ALO and BUT drop about 5000 places each. 🙂
Also, because BUT didn’t set a time in Q1 he’ll need to appeal to the stewards for permission to race.

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