Rosberg grabs pole in Inaugural Mexican Grand Prix
It was an competitive qualifying in the first ever Mexican F1 Grand Prix as the cars were all very close to each other in pace.
Nico Rosberg of Mercedes set a time of 1m 19.480 seconds. He beat his teammate Lewis Hamilton to second place by 0.188 seconds. Lewis Hamilton was the first one to set a time below 1m 20 seconds but when it mattered most in the Q3, he locked up in his qualifying run and was slower than Rosberg. Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari qualified in third.
Daniil Kvyat of Red Bull qualified in P4 with a time of 1m 20.398. Interestingly his teammate Daniel Ricciardo set a time of 1m 20.399 seconds for P5 which was o.oo1 seconds slower.
Valtteri Bottas of Williams was P6 with time of 1m 20.448 and he was followed by Felipe Massa who scored a time of 1m 20. 567 seconds for P7.
Max Verstappen of Toro Rosso was P8 with a time of 1m 20.710. Sergio Perez of Mexico brought in cheer for the home crowd as he qualified in 1m 20.716 seconds for P9. His teammate Nico Hulkenberg of Force India was P10.
The F1 qualifying has three parts. The Q1 is of 18 minutes duration and 5 slowest cars are excluded from the second part of qualifying. So in the Q2 15 cars participate and in Q1 the top 10 cars participate.
Jenson Button couldn’t participate in the qualifying as McLaren couldn’t solve his engine signal problem. He will race at the discretion of the stewards.
Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso have been slapped 30 and 15 place penalties for engine changes. To the spectators it may sound comic as there are only a total of 20 cars in the grid and the combined penalties for engine and gearbox change etc quickly adds up to more than the number of cars.
In the Q1, the following drivers were eliminated:
Romain Grosjean of Lotus could just scrape through to the Q2. His luck however deserted him in Q2 and he couldn’t qualify to the Q1 Top Ten shootout. Kimi Raikkonen was eliminated in the Q2 as he experienced brake problems. He had a spin as well. Raikkonen finished in 15th spot and was down by nearly a second to the 14th placed Marcus Ericsson of Sauber. It would be painful for him because his teammate Sebastian Vettel was around 2.4 seconds faster than him. In the Q2 the following drivers were eliminated:
11. Carlos Sainz
12. Romain Grosjean
13. Pastor Maldonado
14. Marcus Ericsson
15. Kimi Raikkonen
Carlos Sainz was eliminated by just 0.007 seconds as Nico Hulkenberg of Force India beat him for the 10th spot in Q2.