Silver Arrows to start Mexico Grand Prix from second row
Lewis ended qualifying in P3 with Valtteri 0.024 seconds shy in P4
Both drivers completed one run on the Ultasoft compound tyres in Q1, and two runs in both Q2 and Q3
Driver Chassis No. FP3 Q1 Q2 Q3
Lewis Hamilton F1 W08 EQ Power+/05 P2 7 Laps 1:17.518 P1 7 Laps 1:17.035 P3 7 Laps 1:16.934 P3
Valtteri Bottas F1 W08 EQ Power+/03 P4 5 Laps 1:17.578 P2 7 Laps 1:17.161 P4 5 Laps 1:16.958 P4
Pole position was the goal today, but it wasnít meant to be. It was a difficult session and I think it was a difficult weekend overall. It is very slippery here; and some of the issues we have with the car are a little bit highlighted by that. I gave it everything I had, but the gap to the front was too big. Our long run pace is definitely better than our qualifying pace, so Iím not worried about that. But you need a big delta to overtake here, so track position is important. It is a long way down to Turn 1, so we should have some fun tomorrow. Iím hoping Iím able to move forward at the start. Afterwards it should be a one-stop strategy. The crowd looks incredible, thereís a lot of energy. Itís such a spectacle from above; I saw the camera from the helicopter. So winning here on Mexican soil would be pretty neat.
Our qualifying wasnít 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 couldnít get back to the normal line for braking. However, Iím still optimistic for the race. We had good long runs yesterday and weíll have a strong car tomorrow. As a team, weíre starting from the second row, and itís 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.
First of all, congratulations to Sebastian on a very impressive pole position. We have locked out the second row this afternoon and, to be honest, Iím reasonably satisfied with that. We knew that it would be difficult for us here, running at a high downforce circuit, so the result is okay with that in mind; it feels like we have taken a step forward in these conditions compared to recent races. There were big gaps between team-mates today so it is nice to see our drivers so close together, especially as Valtteri only had one opportunity to set a time in Q3. That shows he is bouncing back in the right way from a difficult run of races. Now we have to look forward to a long race tomorrow. Lewis had a promising long run during second practice, so there are still plenty of opportunities open for us to take.
Although we felt that we were in the hunt heading into qualifying, we found ourselves on the back foot in all three sessions with a car that was not quite on the same pace as the Red Bull and Ferrari. Nonetheless, Lewis and Valtteri did a strong job to put both cars on the second row of the grid. It was disappointing for Valtteri that he lost his best lap in Q3 as a result of being blocked but we know from our practice running, and from Lewis in particular, that the long run performance looks very strong. There will be all manner of opportunity tomorrow to make good on the disappointment of today.