Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2017

Vettel snatches pole from Verstappen in Mexico

2017 Mexican Grand Prix qualifying

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Sebastian Vettel snatched pole position in Mexico with a last gasp effort, less than half a tenth ahead of Max Verstappen with Lewis Hamilton third.

The Ferrari driver produced a stunning final lap to pip Verstappen, who had looked favourite to take the first pole of his career until the final laps.

Verstappen is under investigation by the stewards for potentially impeding Valtteri Bottas during his first flying lap.

Q1

As qualifying began, Pierre Gasly’s afternoon was already finished as his Toro Rosso was still not prepared following his early FP3 troubles. Gasly would not be able to take part in the session.

The Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas used the ultra soft tyres to set the early pace ahead of Max Verstappen’s Red Bull.

Fernando Alonso complained of a lack of power in his McLaren-Honda, but still managed to find enough to post the fifth-fastest time of the opening session.

With Gasly unable to set a time, the two Haas and Sauber drivers were in a battle to try and escape into Q2. Haas struggled to find pace, leaving Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen rooted to the back of the grid with Marcus Ericsson and Pascal Wehrlein also knocked out with Lance Stroll the final driver to make it through.

Drivers eliminated in Q1

PositionDriverTeamLap time
16Marcus EricssonSauber1’19.176
17Pascal WehrleinSauber1’19.333
18Kevin MagnussenHaas1’19.443
19Romain GrosjeanHaas1’19.473
20Pierre GaslyToro RossoNo time set

Q2

Mercedes and Ferrari wasted no time in setting fast laps as the second session of qualifying began, with Bottas, Vettel and Hamilton all topping the times with quick laps in the low 1’17s on ultra soft tyres.

That was until Max Verstappen took to the circuit in the Red Bull and laid down the gauntlet to the championship contenders b setting a 1’16.524 – comfortably the quickest lap of the weekend so far – leaving him half a second clear at the front.

Brendon Hartley had successfully made it through into Q2, but his afternoon ended on his first timed lap when he became the second Toro Rosso driver to suffer an apparent engine problem during the day.

Hartley, unlike team mate Gasly, would not find himself at the bottom of the session as neither of the McLaren drivers attempted a single lap due to their impending grid penalties.

The final battle for the remaining Q3 slots came down to a fight between Force India and Williams, with Felipe Massa and Lance Stroll ultimately missing out on a top ten berth after local hero Sergio Perez secured the final spot in tenth.

Drivers eliminated in Q2

PositionDriverTeamLap time
11Felipe MassaWilliams1’18.099
12Lance StrollWilliams1’19.159
13Brendon HartleyToro RossoNo time set
14Fernando AlonsoMcLarenNo time set
15Stoffel VandoorneMcLarenNo time set

Q3

Pole position seemed very much up for grabs as the crucial final qualifying session began in Mexico.

Valtteri Bottas’s first effort was compromised as he locked up under braking for the stadium section after passing Verstappen’s Red Bull, who had backed off from his first timed lap. The stewards announced that they would investigate the incident after the session.

Lewis Hamilton produced a 1’16.934 on his first attempt, but was immediately beaten by Vettel who was almost a tenth quicker.

Then it was Verstappen’s turn and the Red Bull driver duly delivered by producing a 1’16.574 to take provisional pole position.

Hamilton ran wide at Turn 12 on his second attempt and did not improve, leaving the door open for Verstappen and Vettel to capitalise.

Vettel produced a stunning final lap to snatch provisional pole by just under a tenth from Verstappen, who was unable to improve on his final effort, securing Vettel his fourth pole position of the season.

Bottas will line up fourth, ahead of Kimi Raikkonen and Esteban Ocon. Daniel Ricciardo will start seventh, with Nico Hulkenberg, Carlos Sainz and Sergio Perez rounding out the top ten.

Top ten in Q3

PositionDriverTeamLap time
1Sebastian VettelFerrari1’16.488
2Max VerstappenRed Bull-TAG Heuer1’16.574
3Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’16.934
4Valtteri BottasMercedes1’16.958
5Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’17.238
6Esteban OconForce India-Mercedes1’17.437
7Daniel RicciardoRed Bull-TAG Heuer1’17.447
8Nico HulkenbergRenault1’17.466
9Carlos Sainz JnrRenault1’17.794
10Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes1’17.807

2017 Mexican Grand Prix

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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122 comments on “Vettel snatches pole from Verstappen in Mexico”

  1. Vettel needs the F1 Gods to do him a huge favour tomorrow but super lap regardless. Same for Verstappen and Ocon.

    Ricciardo looked lost today, awful performance.

    1. Setup perhaps? His car looked all over place. For me, for the last few races, it’s just clear that Verstappen is quicker driver than Riccardo. Where Ricciardo wins, though, is his experience and racecraft.

      1. no, where ricciardo wins though, is luck and luck. After crashing in qualy he didn’t do much except for the 2 car pass at the restart, then wait for hamilton vettel massa and force indias to stupidly bring themselves out of the fight for win. @bonbonjai

      2. I think it’s all down to getting the tyres setup correctly
        VER did extra laps as he wasn’t happy with his and I really don’t think RIC is that much slower than him
        Also RIC’s engine is high mileage unit, so he probably should take a hit & get a fresh one for this & next 2 races

  2. Max… this guy… please…Points do not say it, but he has shown Ricciardo who is boss this season…

    1. They know that Ricciardo wil go to Mercedes at the end of his contract. He probably no longer hast the latest material. They already set him back engine wise.

      1. That’s what you call a fake story. He will make another season at Red Bull. Do you really think RB will try to make trouble in a team for a whole new season?
        Ricciardo knows he is not the better driver in the team. I guess he knew that for some time already but it settled in the last couple of races. That’s hard to swallow and will influence his mind set but that was not why he was so slow today. I guess it was just not his day.

        1. Happens all the time, one driver gets the latest of the latest. The other gets the older stuff.

          Concerning the better driver. Just look at the points hey got, that says it all.

          1. Just look at the DNFs. That says it all.

          2. Michael Brown (@)
            29th October 2017, 1:32

            I could bring up 2015 as an example of how bad Ricciardo was against Kyvat by that logic

      2. Oh please, it’s time to accept for a fact what the rest of us have known for a long time. Ricciardo is being outclassed by a guy that is now the best driver in F1. Ricciardo is a great driver in my opinion, but Verstappen is just too much to handle.
        No disrespect to Ricciardo as I’m sure no other driver in F1 would have been able to live with Verstappen either. We have seen him grow in stature and ability week in and week out. The last bit of the puzzle was the tough times he went through with unreliability this year. It didn’t hurt him or his confidence at all, he just came back faster. And now for the last three or four races he’s been the class of the field, in an inferior car.

        The way he has handled the tough times this year laid to rest the only question left to answer about Max Verstappen. He certainly has the mental strenght and confidence to be as great as his talent promised. In my view he’s allready now superior to the likes of Alonso, Hamilton and Vettel.

        This will become very clear to all doubters in years to come, seeing Max Verstappen in the second half of 2017 is just like watching Michael Schumacher in 1993. In hindsight 10 years from now everybody will agree that the second half of 2017 was when Verstappen emerged as the dominant force in F1.

        I have to admit I was wrong. I thought it would take at least two more years before Verstappen put the other top drivers in the shade. He’s probably going to win tomorrow, I just can’t se either Hamilton nor Vettel beat him with the race pace he’s shown lately.

        1. Very good summary, Kimiwillbeback ! I don’t think
          there’s any question that, had Verstappen had as
          reliable a Red-Bull car as Vettel had in his four
          dominant years at Red Bull, this weekend it would
          very likely have been the young dutchman on the
          brink of his first world championship and not
          Hamilton taking the prize again. When you consider
          how many DNF’s Verstappen has suffered this year
          it gives food for a lot of amazing thoughts.

          We have some superb drivers in F1 these days.
          Verstappen and Ricciardo at Red Bull, Vettel and
          Raikonnen, Hamilton and Bottas, Sainz, Alonso,
          and some really good young guns.

          Just wish we had some really hot young Brits
          to follow Hamilton when he retires.

      3. RIC won’t go to Merc as long as HAM is there – HAM doesn’t want a teammate as talented and aggressive as RIC. HAM is quite happy to have a good but not great BOT as his rear gunner. Same with VET and Kimi. I think RIC will re-sign with Red Bull not because it’s his first choice but because it will be his best option (much like ALO and McLaren).

        This is one of many flaws in F1 – in many instances letting drivers decide their teammate thus eliminating true competition under the guise of creating a “toxic” environment between teammates as HAM proclaimed when ALO’s name was mentioned as a possible replacement for ROS. Toxic or not, ALO versus HAM or VET would make F1 a lot more exciting.

        Although the pinnacle of racing technology wise, F1 is little more than a dog and pony show between the teams with the deepest pockets. No surprise Merc and Ferrari have colluded in an attempt to prevent “lesser” teams such as Red Bull from raining on their parade. Racing? I think not. Farce is more like it.

        1. you cant blame them though, anyone would prefer an easy going season

    2. You know how Button outscored Lewis over 3 years or something like that… cant we apply the same to Ric beating Max this season? Hence being a better driver than Max.

      1. Michael Brown (@)
        29th October 2017, 1:33

        @lums Or Kyvat outscoring Ricciardo in 2015

      2. Cumulative points beyond the contested season count for the square root of jack. FIA regulations are clear. Button was “outscored”2 seasons v 1.

  3. Wow what a lap from Seb! I thought Max had it in the bag, superb job as well.
    Lewis and the rest just a tiny bit off.

    1. I thought Max had it too! Good job Sebastian.

  4. Another result which is going to give McLaren hope for next year. Odd performance by Ricciardo though. Ocon did really well.

    1. Verstappen had issues over one lap too. Ricciardo probably caught between the two, maybe not sure he could do a second lap quite in the same style, but the RBR not working over one lap.

    2. Ocon seems to have put Perez behind him now. This kid will shine! In the era of Max, I somehow think Ocon is more talented. I know… not much evidence yet.

      1. Ocon and Verstappen raced against eachother in F3. Ocon said that he was faster in the quali and Verstappen in the race. This year Verstappen is superior in quali over quali belast Ricciardo. Therefor I think Verstappen is at another level then Ocon. However Ocon is shown some real class this year. He will be WC one day

  5. Front row Max vs Seb, can’t wait! Max has nothing to lose, Seb has everything to lose but he has to win tomorrow. It’ll make an interesting start.

    1. Max is under investigation though, for blocking Bottas on the first run in Q3. Might get a 5 or 10 place penalty.

      1. Stroll and Magnussen both got 3 places for impeding at COTA

    2. As if Vettel is still driving for the championship, he will be out there racing for the win.

      1. @xenomorph91 Exactly. He knows it’s over, so he wants the win as bad as anyone else. It would need two engine explosions and a grid drop in Abu Dhabi to have a realistic chance by now.

    3. Yeah, what could possibly go wrong there?

  6. Mega, mega lap from Vettel. Excellent stuff. Things are very tight at the top between those three teams so it should be a cracker of a race. Let’s see if Verstappen hangs on to 2nd… & 3rd is probably the best place for Lewis to start this weekend, tbh: Vettel needs it more, & Verstappen probably wants it more, so there could be fireworks in turn one again. I sincerely hope not, though. I’d love to see a real fight tomorrow.

  7. Great lap from Seb, thought Max had it there. So far ahead of Raikkonen too, on such a short track.
    Hope Verstappen doesn’t get a penalty, he was off line and didn’t block Bottas, Bottas just got distracted by him and locked up, which isn’t Max’s fault.
    Surprised as well at the gap between the Force India’s and Renault’s. Superb lap from Ocon, ahead of Ricciardo, who was poor again. Perez seems to be poor at this track unfortunately for him, I think last year he didn’t make it into Q3 and Hulk outqualified both Ferrari’s. Also, expected Sainz to be a bit closer to too, although less than a second off pole was a great lap from Hulk.

    1. @hugh11 its a marginal call in terms of a penalty but i think its pretty clear that max did block bottas as bottas was unable to use his regular line (they pointed out on the sky broadcast that he wasn’t able to stay as wide as on previous lap, had to take a tighter line to get to the right & was then slightly offline for the next corner) and with the track been so dusty & low grip off the usual line that no doubt caused his lockup.

      1. Of course there’s are car on track .. but what do you expect VER to do? Lift off?

        Bottas just missed his braking point as a result of a car in this corner.. Nothing anyone can do there.

  8. Why is Sergio Perez so slow and ocon is way ahead of him

  9. Well then. That will be some first corner after Verstappen gets a 3 place grid drop…

  10. Reading that Verstappen lost time with ‘an incorrect energy deployment’ really doesn’t help me. Man, so close to breaking another record. Super impressive anyway, but a record would have been nice.

  11. Fantastic lap by Vettel, showing he is not really inferior to Hamilton in qualifying. Max pulled a great performance as well, totally destroyed Ricciardo, who was totally off the pace. Hope the stewards won’t ruin that. Tomorrow we can see a three-team fight for the win. That would be something! Perez must be gutted as well.

  12. What is strange is how inconsistent the laps were. Ham made mistakes on Q2 lap and Q3 lap. Verstappen did 19.6 sector 3 on that Q2 lap but then only managed 19.9 on all the other laps. Vettel got it because he edged Ver / Ham in all 3 sectors by very little. I wonder what would grid look like if we combined each driver’s best sectors together. Perhaps it’s the low drag and how the car behaves that makes the drivers almost re-learn their cars.

    1. @ivan-vinitskyy Reason for the inconsistency is that there having problems with the tyres having a stupidly tiny operating window again with getting them into said tiny operating window also proving to be a problem.

      1. digitalrurouni
        28th October 2017, 20:42

        You sound a bit bitter. Other teams have the same variables as well yet they seem to have been able to get it in there!

        1. Almost everyone is complaining about it and Verstappen has the second best time by a tiny margin. Who are “they”?

  13. Stunning effort from Vettel and Verstappen. Hamilton will be disappointed to be behind a Ferrari and Red Bull despite having a dominant car that’s clearly best on the grid.

    Imagine what Verstappen would be doing in a Ferrari — or dare say a Mercedes!

    1. “Dominant car that’s clearly the best on the grid”. Last time I checked that was the Ferrari which was nearly 1/2 a second clear of the Merc. What were you watching?

    2. Many knowledgeable pundits have said the SF70H is both the most innovative response to the 2017 rule changes and the fastest car this year.
      There’s an analytical approach used by an Italian-based motorsport journalist (who also believes the SF70H is the best car on the grid this year) that I like. He says wining is based 70% on the car and 30% on the drive. I would add that the 30% should include not only the drive (skill and performance) but also the team (quality assurance, operations and strategy).
      So you can argue that for this particular GP, Vettel & Ferrari are where they are supposed to be, while Hamilton and Mercedes may have let Max slip through!

      1. Mercedes have a significant straight line advantage. An incredible advantage. Look at how easily Vettel was passed by Hamilton in Austin. It was comical.

  14. Brilliant from Vettel! McLaren seemed surprisingly good around here, hopefully they can have an even more competitive chassis in 2018, so we can have Red Bull vs. McLaren; Alonso vs. Verstappen.

  15. Nobody mentions, but Bottas is just 0.024 off from Hamilton. I think this might give him the confidence boost, which is highly needed for him at the moment.
    Mega lap from VET and VER, and if the latter could put together the last sector as he did in Q2, he would have been way ahead in the lead.
    It will be a tricky start with the Merc power coming from behind.

  16. More significant improvement in ultimate lap time on last season than at COTA despite it being considerably longer (both length and lap time-wise) than this circuit.

  17. Will Kimi do a “Kvyat torpedo” on Lewis?

    1. Would you want that?

  18. Vettel now has one more pole for Ferrari than Alonso. This was Vettel his fourth pole this season, together with his one pole from 2015 that makes 5 against Alonso his 4.

    1. Interesting. Now compare the Ferraris each one drove. Ferrari were only the 3rd best team in the constructers behind McLaren in 2010. Ferrari were third again in 2011 and rightly he got no poles.

      1. And compare the gaps from team 1 to team 2 to team 3 in 2010 – 2013 and 2015 – 2017.

        Red Bull has never had as much an advantage as Mercedes did in 2014 – 2016. This year the Ferrari has been closer but the Mercedes is still the better car, especially on Saturday. Of all the races Vettel could have realistically gotten pole, he got almost all of them.

        1. Yes red bull has never had the same advantage as mercedes, but it was still enough to prevent any other team from getting pole. Mercedes beats everyone to pole by 1 sec while red bull beats everyone to pole by 0.5 sec and that still mean Alonso cant do anything to overturn red bull

  19. Something’s not right here.
    We’ve been hearing non stop this season how Lewis is the best on the grid, one of the greatest ever, better than drivers who have a reputation for placing slower cars higher up…but now this unacceptable occurance.

    Sabotage obviously.
    ;)

    1. digitalrurouni
      28th October 2017, 20:45

      Of course he is! Despite his slower car he was till in the top 3! ;)

      1. ahh, so now the car is responsible for his performance! Never car related when Ferrari or Red Bull are a second behind.

        1. Ferrari has been the overall better car this season. Lewis made the difference both in quali and races.
          That’s why most people outside this blog called him the best in the field: because he is.

          1. Being fast doesnt make him the best. His racecraft isn’t as good as Alonsos for starters, nor has his stamina over a season eevr been as good. Alonso started to haul him in the the end of 2008 and did so in 2010 in poor cars for heavens sake.

          2. Verstappen is clearly hauling a slower higher than it should be. lewis shouldn’t let that be happening. well not if he’s as good as people are saying. he went missing almost completely in the Vettel years, the challenge was left to Alonso in the 3rd best team yet again.

          3. Ferrari has been the overall better car this season

            No it hasn’t. Not on qualy pace, not on race pace and not on reliability. Ferrari had the upper hand on several tracks but overall the Mercedes is still the best car. By a comfortable margin too. Even without Vettel’s mistake in Singapore and his crazy action in Baku he would have had no chance at the title at this point.

      2. I would say Merc still have the best car when you look where Bottas is compared to the other Number 2s.

        1. digitalrurouni
          28th October 2017, 21:55

          There are tracks where a driver has strengths and where they have weaknesses. There are tracks where a manufacturer is strong and where a manufacturer is not. I don’t think the Merc is the better car. It’s very peaky as in super sensitive to setup. The Ferrari is way easier to get to its performance window. In a single lap pace the Merc has been the benchmark for sure but look at Red Bull they don’t have the outright pace of the Merc but in race trim they have been amazing. it is well known the Renault PU is down on power and performance compared to the Ferrari and the Merc. But combination of their driver and chassis makes it an absolutely lethal combination. The Merc being peaky when in the zone can be incredibly quick but that doesn’t make it the best car. To me the best car is the car which is compliant and easy to get in to the right setup and is more flexible in operating across high speed tracks to street circuits and that is where the Ferrari is absolutely brilliant. I think they threw away the championsip because of their mechanical gremlins and Vettel’s amazing brain fart in Singapore.

        2. BigJoe In 2010 Ferrari build a very good car. The McLaren wasn’t bad but it couldn’t stay with the RedBull and Ferrari especially from Germany on wards. Vettel and Alonso both took 5 wins, the other RedBull had 4 wins, Hamilton 3 and Button 2. Hamilton kept his titles hopes alive till the last race and finished only 16 points behind Vettel despite driving the 3rd best car.

    2. Ouch.. It must hurt you to see Hamilton with 72 poles, every day. He will always be one of the greatest qualifiers and possibly even the greatest of the current era.

      Legends are not usually given their due while they are active. Vettel, Hamilton are already legends. So is Alonso, just unfortunate to not have more stats to show.

    3. @BigJoe Thanks for my early Sunday morning entertainment!

      I comment on these forums very little anymore (for certain personal reasons), but every once in a while a post like yours really makes me want to say “Thank You”.

      At the end of the day, whether here in Mexico or in Abu Dhabi, we’ll be congratulating Lewis Hamilton on his 4th WDC.

      I’ll lift a large one to you at the time.

      Cheers!!

  20. The topteam’s nrs 1 clearly ahead today

  21. Great qualy all round.

    What a terrible performance by Danny Ric. Where has all his qualy pace gone?? He used to be really good over one lap, seems to have all disappeared. Almost a second off his teammate, thats unheard off in his time with Max. I sincerely hope there was something off with his car, if that wasn’t the case, I can’t see how he would not have had his stuffing knocked out of him by that lap from Max. Brilliant stuff.

    1. He stated during a interview the car was good till Quali. Then it was way of and he could not make the tires work.
      He also said it was not a engine thing but pure setup problems.

    2. Didn’T watch the interviews but Max was doing 2 flying laps with the same set, the first being very slow and the second the really hot lap. Couldn’t confirm during Q3, but definitelly in Q1 the Force Indias were doing the same. Noticed some other guys doing it too: several flying laps, not just one. Ricciardo didn’t do it on Q3 and I think also not on Q2 (but I believe he did 2 flying laps on Q1) and that can explain why he was so behind. It seems that the Red Bull would never be “trully fast” on the first flying lap but Ricciardo somehow couldn’t replicate the same tactic as Verstappen, and I guess that doing 2 fast flying laps would also not work.
      It seems to me that for several cars and drivers, the tyres needed 1,5 lap to work perfectly hence we seeing people going slow on the last 2 sectors of the first lap.

    3. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      28th October 2017, 22:28

      @jaymenon10 I think it was tyres this week, not so much the driver.

  22. It would be a shame if Max gets a penalty.

  23. Beautiful lap from Seb. Great fight until the end!

  24. That’s….one way to defend the record of being youngest pole-sitter ever iirc

  25. This is the closest a team outside the top 3 has been to pole in all season. Two of them, actually. Ocon’s time was just 1.1% slower than Vettel’s, and Hulkenberg’s 1.13%. The closest so far was Hulkenberg in Bahrain, with a deficit of 1.2% to the pole time. I guess it’s still too much to bring the fight to the front, but I hope it’s a sign of good things to come.

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      29th October 2017, 2:27

      @alonshow yes but the whole quail was strange – teammates were miles apart and cars that should have been quicker like the Haas were slower than the Sauber running the old Ferrari engine. The gaps show that Vettel and Verstappen were not on the engine limit but more limited by their tires. But they were also the lucky ones since most drivers were even more limited.

      1. @freelittlebirds:

        The gaps show that Vettel and Verstappen were not on the engine limit but more limited by their tires

        Of course the tyres put limits to the performance of the cars, along with a thousand other factors. But how does that make these gaps less representative of the performance of the cars?

        1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
          30th October 2017, 14:20

          @alonshow because the midfield is not so close to the top cars – usually they are trailing by a second. It’s unlikely that 2 drivers (Ocon and Hulk) shaved off 0.5 seconds at the same track with different cars and engines. It’s also statistically impossible that you’d see such gaps between teammates to the tune of 1 second for Ricciardo, .750 second for Kimi, 0.4 seconds for Force India and Renault.

          As you know well, these are considered eternities in F1 – almost as if one driver has a different car. In fact, one car was a top car and the other nearly a midfield car.

  26. Is it possible that Hamilton has indeed taken his foot off it a bit. He didn’t seem on the pace for most of qualifying, but also he didn’t look to be ‘struggling’, as such. And that is quite a small gap to Bottas.

    As Brundle and Croft mentioned, he only needs one fifth place in any of the remaining rounds, not just this one, so it’s understandable.

    1. @strontium Hamilton is certain of the title, he has no reason whatsoever to lift off.

    2. That would be at odds with his comments before the race where he said he wanted to win the title by winning this race.

      Given that Mercedes were expecting to be slightly off the pace here, I think it is more likely that is about as much as he could eke out of the car.

      He was also running some fairly long stints in the practice sessions, suggesting that he might have sacrificed a bit of qualifying performance in return for better pace in the race. The high pit time loss means that teams prefer a one stop strategy, but it depends on whether they can stretch the tyre life out for long enough (like Monza, a one stop strategy has always been quicker, but always needed a bit of tyre saving – it’s been like that since the 80’s).

      1. That doesnt explain why verstappen has just beaten him qualifying in the slower car.

        1. Don’t believe HAM made any mistakes on his best Q3 lap, nor did BOT. I’d say BOT performed better than HAM this weekend but I honestly don’t think either of them could do much better with the Merc package on this circuit. In other words the Mexico track doesn’t play towards the strengths of the Merc package as opposed to the Ferrari or now Red bull package.

          VER very unfortunate to get pole, i was hoping he would, but VET did a great job to steal it at the end.

        2. The Red Bull high down force package is what counts here not the PU. The Red Bull and Ferrari are better cars for Mexico.

          The teams are running Monaco level packages to achieve down force at 80% of the level of Monza.

          Alonso in the McLaren perfectly highlights this, clearly they also have a good down force package.

        3. Red Bull and Ferrari have had the stronger package all weekend. But of course that doesn’t suit your agenda.

      2. @BigJoe Did he steal that quote from Rosberg?

  27. Did not see the Quali… but this order and the time differences make this GP kinda odd. 1st, wasn’t this supposed to be a Mercedes track?! Both Mercedes drivers are 0.45sec behind PP time. Quite a lot, didn’t expect it. Bad lap times or something wrong with their cars? Wow, RAI and RIC so far behind their team mates… Then, Haas worse than Sauber…?!

    1. @mg1982
      Just a case of Hamilton being inconsistent again. We’ll undoubtedly see more of it but the Mercedes will bail him out with its superior reliability and straight line speed.

    2. @mg1982, No, they already said beforehand that this would not suit the Mercedes since it’s in a high downforce configuration. Mercedes have not performed well in any of those all season. Those tracks Ferrari had an even bigger margin over Mercedes. Red Bull and McLaren close up to Ferrari with Red Bull surpassing Mercedes too.

      1. Still, it’s a track dominated by Mercedes since its return to F1 calendar, no matter if it was Quali or Race.

  28. please, McLaren, make a front runner next year. VET v. ALO v. HAM v. VER v. RIC would be epic.

    1. Remove RIC from that he is not in the other drivers level. 2014 one season special.

      1. Its Verstappen that stands out in that list not Ricciardo.

    2. @naylamp If Renault make year-on-year gains better than the other two engine manufacturers (they might, as they have more room to improve), then such a competition between ALO, HAM, RIC, VER, VET could become a reality.

      And I – for one – will let the previous years of dominance be excused if it brings us such a fight: young guns eager to prove themselves, multiple-WDC drivers keen to show they’ve still got it, and with the machinery to take the fight to one another.

  29. Apparently, for most people around here, when Vettel gets the pole it’s due to his talent, when Hamilton gets it (a lot more often) it’s due to the car.
    I didn’t realize your bias towards Lewis is so deep.

    1. @liko41 Absolute nonsense. There just always has to be one guy posting this, and turn the names around when it’s Hamilton on pole. You posting that exact comment shows your very own bias. If anything Hamilton has a far larger fanbase on this site than Vettel. Both drivers share quite some nonsensical abuse on this site from both sides,…

      1. Larger fanbase? Hamilton has the largest “h@ter”base! And you are clearly one of the most biased towards him, despite accusing others.
        I guess the only thing you can do to revive your idol is to spread some h@te, giving the various times he has been beaten this season! ROTFL.

    2. Well when Hamilton only outperforms Bottas by 0.02 seconds. We can’t exactly praise him now can we.

      And you can compare Vettel’s performance against Raikkonen vs Alonso’s performance against Raikkonen. So either Alonso isn’t as talented as people here like to claim or Vettel isn’t as terrible as people here like to claim. Take your pick.

      1. Whatever people belived Kimi had in the past he clearly doesnt have it anymore so theres no comparison to be had.

      2. You didn’t praise him when he beated Bottas by more than 7 tenths.. but I guess that’s what a Ferrari fan behaves.

    3. Not totally, but partially… yeah. That’s because VET got PPs by 0.1sec, while HAM got many PPs by 0.5sec. Hardly doubt HAM is faster than VET by 0.5sec on pure talent. I agree that HAM seems the faster driver on 1 lap, but when it’s 0.5sec or so, must be the car mostly.

      1. Vettel does tend to overdrive the car on occasion and then you quickly lose a few tenths. Just like Hamilton overcooked both of his attempts today. Hamilton just didn’t have many of those messy laps this season (or in any season really)

  30. Vettel snatches pole from everyone.

    Hamilton will win title no. 4 tomorrow, although he never had a bad car. Vettel did that 4 years ago. It was funny, how David Croft started to talk about Hamilton being the best of his generation on Friday during FP1.

    1. @myst The difference is that overall Ferrari had the best car this season. Yet Hamilton still came out on top. Vettel wasted so many points with his own driving errors and poor performances that he could still be close to Hamilton by now if not ahead even with the technical issues.

      For instance not ramming into Hamilton in Baku and into Verstappen/Raikkonen in Singapore would already have gotten Vettel 51 points closer. He could then potentially take the lead back this race.

      Or he could have had that lead already if he performed better in one or more races like Spain, Canada, Silverstone, Spa.

  31. Stewards have laid their egg. No further action. car 33 had moved off the racing line, and although he might have moved off the racing line quicker, the stewards did not consider it as impeding.

    Obviously his presence distracted Bottas enough to lose it in the corner, but he kept well left of the race line so Bottas was not physically hindered. Not even by a wake of dirty air, because at that speed the downforce is minimal and so is the effect of turbulence.

  32. Never thought Max impeded Bottas….possibly distracted him……but never saw the Stewards taking any action either…well certainly not after Vettel took the pole….
    And the race tomorrow is looking good………what fight will Seb put up against Max…

    1. He clearly did impede Bottas. Bottas needed to change his line off the racing line where it’s dusty. Still, I agree that this doesn’t warrant a penalty.

      Verstappen should have been on the other side of the track. Further away from the racing line.

  33. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    28th October 2017, 22:19

    Massive gaps between most teammates – even Haas was slower than Sauber with the newer engines. Either you had the pace or you were 0.5 a second to 1 second off.

  34. So angry I missed qualifying as I was out and about. What happened to Kimi and Riccardo? Miles away from their teammates. Odd. Vettel has no chance of clinching the championship, surely tomorrow Hamilton will get his crown, but at least we are up for a treat with Verstappen not being punished and starting from the front row. These three will have an interesting battle, assuming the Merc will have the pace to follow the guys in front. Excited for tomorrow! :)

  35. Superb lap(s) of Alonso in Q1.

    With that last lap here would have easily made Q3 and probably 9th on the grid.

  36. Maybe lewis played it safe!? Would you want to be diving into turn one with a boisterous Seb and Max behind you?

    He’s got everything to lose after all!

    Just a thought.

    1. He concentrated on race runs more on this truck, and he is not very from from the front row… he may/possibly very well be able to sail pass both cars within few laps without much issues as there are some good fast straights here… It depends on Ham’s willingness to risk or not… He will be champ finishing in top 5! So he doesnt need to prove anything… I m sure he wont let those in front walk in the park…

      1. I don’t think anyone will of the top 6 will be able to overtake each other anywhere as the air is thin and the drafting effect is zero

    2. Lewis wouldnt want too good a start, Max could clip his rear wheel like he did to Kimi in Singapore.

    3. @ nemo87: yeah, tomorrow could be Singapore Reloaded, HAM hoping to have the win served on a silver plate again.

  37. Hamilton can be very content. Vet and Ver heading in to the first corner have about 30-40% crash chance.

    That is almost 40% chance of an easy win… Then there is Mercedes power on one of the fastest straights … So there is another 20% chance for victory…

    I am pretty sure he will get on podium, very likeley top two.

    He has work to do, and for an average racing fan, we can only be grateful he starts off front row

  38. I fully expected this to be a weekend Hamilton either grabbed a surprise pole, or got beaten by Bottas.

    Given Bottas’ performance at the low grip surface of Sochi and high down force of Monaco I think he gave us a more representative pace today and Hamilton only just edging him probably wasn’t a poor show from him, but rather just them both delivering fair laps.

    Vettel and Verstappen both seemed to manage to dig a little deeper though. Verstappen especially who seemed to just click with the tyres.

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