2017 Formula One Mexican Grand Prix — Qualifying Results

This weekend’s Grand Prix is a critical one for both Mercedes and Ferrari. Should Lewis Hamilton finish in the top 5 for tomorrow’s race, he secures his fourth drivers’ title. Luckily, today’s qualifying has shaken the formula (no pun intended) quite a bit.

Ferrari and Red Bull have bucked the trend of Mercedes’ dominance this weekend. Sebastian Vettel sits up front for tomorrow’s race — securing his 50th career pole and setting a new track record of 1:16.488. Vettel is in the perfect position to do what’s necessary to keep the grudge match going strong. Behind him sits Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton in third.

Following last weekend’s incident at the U.S. Grand Prix, Max Verstappen left it all on the circuit. The daring Dutch driver had terrific pace, even setting a track record during Q2. The Red Bull looked all but lined up to secure pole position for tomorrow’s race but alas, it wasn’t meant to be. With Verstappen complaining of tire issues, top honors would go to Vettel’s Ferrari.

To make matters worse, Verstappen is under investigation for impeding Valtteri Bottas during Q3. Teammate Daniel Ricciardo finished in seventh, also complaining of tire issues. Tire troubles are a common issue around the Rodriguez circuit, catching a few drivers out.

Bottas sits behind his Mercedes teammate in fourth. The Finnish driver believes his first lap in Q3 fell away after avoiding Verstappen on the circuit’s stadium section. The second Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen places fifth, 0.75 seconds adrift of Vettel.

Esteban Ocon danced the Force India into sixth, out-qualifying the Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo sitting behind. He also outpaced his teammate Sergio Perez, who is undoubtedly the crowd favorite. Ocon continues to impress in his short time with the team and will no doubt be a valued asset for next season.

Nico Hulkenberg, Carlos Sainz and Sergio Perez round out the top ten. It will be interesting to see the Renault duo fight for position tomorrow. As pointed out last week, in Sainz’s debut race for the team he finished one position shy of the team’s season best. The pressure will be on both men to perform their best.

Sergio Perez didn’t have the best luck at his hometown race, four places down and 0.37 seconds behind Ocon. Fernando Alonso set a shocking time during Q1 to secure fifth fastest of the session. Neither he nor McLaren teammate Stoffel Vandoorne participated in Q2, opting to preserve their engines. Why? Both drivers have sizable grid place penalties for excessive engine usage and will start from the back.

The two drivers won’t be alone: Toro Rosso driver Pierre Gasly faces a 15-place penalty. It’s a cold welcome to the returning driver who didn’t turn in a single qualifying lap thanks to engine issues in P3.

While anything can happen tomorrow, it’s going to be an uphill battle for Ferrari. Should Hamilton finish where he starts, it doesn’t matter how well Vettel performs — the Mercedes driver walks away champion. To say tomorrow’s Grand Prix race will be exciting is an understatement.

See more articles on .

About the Author