It was almost meant to be a new record, Max Verstappen would have been the youngest driver to ever get pole position in Formula 1 here in Mexico only to be denied that honour when Vettel beat his time by just 0.086s at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez circuit. Lewis Hamilton came in third and teammate Valtteri Bottas was in fourth place.
Kimi Raikkonen in the other Ferrari and Esteban Ocon in the Force India followed suit in the 3rd row. Local hero, Sergio Perez managed to stay within the top 10 for the race which starts at 3am local time here in Malaysia.
“Obviously I am really happy”, Seb said. “I had a perfect lap in the end, even if the track here is difficult and very slippery. It is easy to make mistakes going over the limit here. But I thought to myself that if I could get T1 right, then I’d have a better chance. The last sector was also tricky because you know how easily you can go wide and lose a lot of time, but I managed to push and stay clean. So, I am really happy, especially because other cars were close and it’s nice to hold everybody off.”
“Yesterday the car was not where we wanted to be, but today everything was ok, and I think tomorrow we’ll be quick enough. Let’s see what happens at the start and after that we should have a good race. I know it’s a long way to Turn 1, but overall I am confident because our starts are good. Last weekend it was tough for the whole team because it went through of a lot of work and a lot of changes. This weekend has been better, I think we deserved to get the result today and hope to have a great race tomorrow!”
“Our qualifying wasn’t good enough; we thought we could fight for the pole. We definitely struggled a bit compared to at least one of the Ferraris and one of the Red Bulls, for some reason they found quite a bit of lap time for Q3. The incident with Max ruined my first lap in Q3; I just couldn’t get back to the normal line for braking. However, I’m still optimistic for the race. We had good long runs yesterday and we’ll have a strong car tomorrow. As a team, we’re starting from the second row, and it’s such a long run into Turn 1 here. Hopefully we can have a good start and use the slipstream to our advantage. It should be an interesting race,” said Valtteri Bottas.
Here are the full qualifying results.
|2||33||RED BULL RACING TAG HEUER||1:17.630||1:16.524||1:16.574||19|
|6||31||FORCE INDIA MERCEDES||1:18.336||1:17.827||1:17.437||19|
|7||3||RED BULL RACING TAG HEUER||1:18.208||1:17.631||1:17.447||15|
|10||11||FORCE INDIA MERCEDES||1:18.020||1:17.868||1:17.807||19|