Grand Prix of Mexico – Qualifying

Hamilton failed to win the Drivers’ Championship in America so now he needs to finish 7th or better and he will succeed this time. It’s unlikely Mercedes will tie up the Constructors’ Championship though – the battle at the top of the points table is closer.

In case you didn’t hear, OCO and MAG were both disqualified for fuel flow infringements, promoting HAR and ERI into the points. Also post-race GRO was given a 3-place grid penalty for this weekend for causing the collision with LEC.
GAS will also receive grid penalties as Toro Rosso make a handful of engine changes.

Tyre choices are: supersoft (red), ultrasoft (purple) and hypersoft (pink).

Free Practice:

  1. FP1: VER (1:16.656), RIC, SAI, HUL, HAM
  2. FP2: VER (1:16.720), RIC, SAI, VET, HUL
    VER’s Red Bull lost power and he parked off track
  3. FP3: VER (1:16.284), HAM, VET, RIC, RAI
    BOT had a hydraulic failure in the stadium section

Mechanics hard at work on BOT’s Mercedes; apparently a power unit change but it’s within his allocation so no penalty; however, it sounds like it may not be ready until a few minutes into Q1.

The stewards have stated leaving the track in Turn 11 will have their lap time deleted

Air temperature 18°C; track 25°C; it rained earlier today but no more rain forecast for Quali

Qualifying session 1 (Q1)
GAS is first out of the pit lane, presumably still testing the new engine
GAS 1:17.876
BOT 1:17.160 with his new engine
RAI 1:16.543
VET 1:16.089
(HAM P3) but on a slower tyre
(PER P5)
VET starts another quick lap but immediately runs wide in Turn 1
RIC 1:15.866
VER 1:15.756
ALO time deleted for running wide in T11
Replay shows ALO getting close to VAN into T11; did he lose downforce or have to take evasive action?
5mins left; bottom 5 are VAN, MAG, STR, SIR, ALO
BOT 1:15.580
(HAM P2)
ALO P7, GRO P16
Chequered flag
SAI P7, ERI P16
GRO P12, LEC P16
LEC P15, VAN P16
ERI P11, GRO P16
Back of the grid: GRO*, VAN, MAG, STR, SIR
*GRO has penalty to be applied

Qualifying session 2
There’s talk of rain at the end of Q2
BOT 1:15.923 on ultrasoft tyres
HAM 1:15.644 also on ultras
(VET P2)
(RIC P3)
VER 1:15.640 on ultras
5mins left; bottom 5 are HAR, PER, OCO, ALO, GAS
VET and HAM on track on hypersofts; presumably checking Q3 setup
Chequered flag
ALO P11
OCO P11
PER P13
Middle of the grid: OCO, ALO, PER, HAR, GAS*
*GAS has penalty to be applied

Qualifying session 3
Top 10 shootout is between VER, HAM, VET, RIC, BOT, RAI, HUL, SAI, LEC and ERI
They’re leaving the pit lane 2×2: RAI, VET, HAM, BOT, RIC, VER
RAI 1:15.330
VET 1:14.970
HAM P2
BOT P3
SAI P5
HUL P5
LEC P5
RIC P3
ERI P9
VER 1:14.785
Order after first run: VER, VET, HAM, RIC, BOT, RAI, LEC, HUL, SAI, ERI
New tyres go on; time for one last flying run
Chequered flag
VET doesn’t improve
SAI P7
RIC 1:14.759
HAM P3
No-one else improved
Front of the grid: RIC, VER, HAM, VET, BOT, RAI, HUL, SAI, LEC, ERI

Red Bull lock out the front row – that’s not happened in a while! (“First time in the turbo-hybrid era”)

Provisional grid: RIC, VER, HAM, VET, BOT, RAI, HUL, SAI, LEC, ERI, OCO, ALO, PER, HAR, GAS*, GRO*, VAN, MAG, STR, SIR
*GAS will drop to P20 due to engine changes
*GRO will drop 3 places for causing the collision with LEC in the US GP

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