Valtteri Bottas on pole from Lewis Hamilton as Mercedes stuns Red Bull and Max Verstappen – .

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Valtteri Bottas on pole from Lewis Hamilton as Mercedes stuns Red Bull and Max Verstappen – .


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Sergio Perez goes a long way in his qualifying round by offering Mercedes a front row lockout in Mexico City.

Sergio Perez goes a long way in his qualifying round by offering Mercedes a front row lockout in Mexico City.

Valtteri Bottas took pole position ahead of Lewis Hamilton in an unexpected front row lockout as Mercedes pulled off one of the season’s turnovers to shock Max Verstappen and Red Bull in Mexico GP qualifying.

Completely changing the momentum Red Bull had built over two days of dominating practice, Mercedes bounced back in extraordinary ways on a track that seemed to suit its title rivals and dominated all three segments in Saturday’s shootout, with Bottas in the lead in Q3.

The Finnish rider, who unlike Hamilton and Verstappen is not in contention for the championship, completed two laps that would have been enough for pole and finally beat his teammate by a tenth of a second with his 1: 15.875.

Title leader Verstappen will start alongside Hamilton on the grid but – unlike his pre-qualifying form – not ahead of him, the Dutchman is only third and 0.350 seconds off pole for which he was the big favorite.

“Honestly this first run in Q3 was one of my best laps,” said Bottas, while Hamilton added: “I really have no idea [what changed]. I’m as shocked as everyone, but we’ll take it anyway. “

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Embark with Valtteri Bottas as the Mercedes driver secured pole position for the Mexico City Grand Prix.

Climb aboard with Valtteri Bottas as the Mercedes driver secured pole position for the Mexico City Grand Prix.

Verstappen was hampered by a lack of grip, as well as a distraction on his final lap as his teammate Sergio Perez and Yuki Tsunoda’s AlphaTauri derailed widely in front of him. He blamed Tsunoda for costing him pole, but he is still optimistic about his chances in the race with the longest descent at Turn 1 on the calendar at over 800 meters.

“Of course third isn’t amazing, but I think it’s always better than starting second,” said Verstappen, who leads Hamilton by just 12 points with five innings to go, starting with Sunday’s race live on Sky Sports at 7 p.m.

Perez finished fourth in the other Red Bull ahead of Pierre Gasly, who was helped by the wake provided by the plummeting Tsunoda.

Who has a grid penalty in Mexico?

Driver Team Sadness
Lando Norris McLaren Grille rear (motor)
Esteban Ocon Alpin Grille rear (motor)
Lance ride Aston Martin Grille rear (motor)
Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri Grille rear (motor)
Georges russel Williams 5 places (gearbox)

McLaren also aimed to use towing by using Lando Norris, another of five drivers with a penalty this weekend, to help Daniel Ricciardo, although the Australian still placed seventh behind Carlos Sainz in the Ferrari.

Mexico GP Qualifying Results – Top 10
1) Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes
2) Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes
3) Max Verstappen, Red Bull
4) Sergio Perez, Red Bull
5) Pierre Gasly, Alpha Tauri
6) Carlos Sainz, Ferrari
7) Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren
8) Charles Leclerc, Ferrari
9) Yuki Tsunoda, Alpha Tauri
10) Lando Norris, McLaren

More soon.

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