Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport to start from second and third row after tight fight in qualifying
Lewis will start tomorrow’s Mexican Grand Prix from P3 on the grid
Valtteri qualified P5 at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez
Both drivers will start tomorrow’s race on the UltraSoft tyres
Driver Chassis No.
Lewis Hamilton F1 W09 EQ Power+/05
Q1 8 Laps P2 1:15.673 UltraSoft, HyperSoft
Q2 6 Laps P2 1:15.644 UltraSoft, HyperSoft
Q3 7 Laps P3 1:14.894 HyperSoft, HyperSoft
Valtteri Bottas F1 W09 EQ Power+/06
Q1 8 Laps P1 1:15.580 UltraSoft, HyperSoft
Q2 8 Laps P5 1:15.923 UltraSoft, HyperSoft
Q3 6 Laps P5 1:15.160 HyperSoft, HyperSoft
I want to say thank you to everyone at the factory and the team here at the race track, everyone has worked really hard to get the car to where it was today. Red Bull were really fast in the middle sector, the Renault engine seems to be working well in the high altitude and so does their high-downforce package. I think they were probably in a league of their own today, so I’m happy to be as close as I am. Our race pace was not bad on Friday, but again Red Bull seemed to have the upper hand. We were able to improve quite a bit since yesterday, so I’m hoping that we will be able to fight them and maybe gain some ground at the start. Mexico is a great place to be and a great place to race, so I’m looking forward to tomorrow. Game on!
The entire team did a really good job last night and today. It didn’t look great for us yesterday, but the car felt a lot better today; we were able to recover a lot of our performance. I also want to say thank you to our mechanics, they did an amazing job. In less than one and a half hours, they managed to take the car apart and change the engine – and the car worked well afterwards. Qualifying was pretty straightforward after the car was fixed, but I didn’t get a perfect lap together in Q3. It never felt as good as it did in the previous qualifying runs, but at least we’re a lot closer to the front than we were on Friday. The first row was probably out of reach for us today, but at least our times were very close to those of Ferrari. There’s a long straight here at the start, so not starting from the front might actually be an advantage if we manage to get a tow from the cars in front of us. The race tomorrow should be good fun.
A fantastic qualifying session with the top three teams covered by two tenths of a second – and congratulations to Daniel, who has had a tough time in recent races. As a team, we can be happy with how we recovered – we were nowhere on Friday but in the ballpark today. Starting from the second row with Lewis may not be the worst thing tomorrow with the long straight, certainly he will have opportunities on the way to Turn One. From the constructors’ perspective, it’s good to have each of our cars ahead of a Ferrari on the grid; but they are once again so fast on the straights that keeping them behind won’t be easy. It’s certainly going to be a very exciting run to the first corner…
This team has set some high standards in recent seasons, so it’s unusual to feel pretty jubilant with P3 and P5 in qualifying. But after our troubles yesterday and Valtteri’s issue in FP3, this result represents an excellent recovery. Overnight, we did good work on the engine side to post a competitive level of power in the thin air, while the chassis engineering team recovered the slow corner competitiveness that was missing yesterday. We’re under no illusions that it will be anything other than a tough race tomorrow, with Red Bull enjoying a very strong weekend and Ferrari neck and neck on outright pace. The top three teams are all starting on the preferred UltraSoft tyre and we have every intention of giving it our best shot to win.