TheSportsCampus

The Worlds Favourite Playground

Tuesday, Jan 28th

Last update:04:12:24 PM GMT

Headlines:
You are here: Motorsport Formula 1 Last ditch lap keeps Rosberg next to Pole setter Hamilton in Mexico City

Last ditch lap keeps Rosberg next to Pole setter Hamilton in Mexico City

User Rating: / 0
PoorBest 

Rosberg HamiltonA 12th Silver Arrows front row lockout of the season left Lewis Hamilton in pole position for the 10th time this campaign and the 59th time in his career as the reigning world champion continues to chase Championship leader and Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg for the world title. Hamilton's lap time of 1:18.704 at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez puts the Briton in Pole Position heading into tomorrow's Mexican Grand Prix.

Rosberg, who leads Hamilton by 26 points, narrowly squeezed into the front row of the grid, managing to bunt the Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo to the second row thanks to a final lap of 1:18.958 in Q3. The German, who is chasing a first ever Drivers' Championship title, struggled for form for the better part of the qualifying session and looked destined to leave Hamilton with a significant advantage heading into Sunday's race.

Hamilton, who finished 0.254 seconds clear of Rosberg, warned his competitor that he has a lot more pace up his sleeve. He said in his post race interview, "Q3 was actually not great for me. Even though I got pole, it wasn't a great lap. I had a pretty serious delta throughout the session before that but then lost quite a lot of time on my first Q3 lap and then more again on my second lap. I just didn't put three sectors together in either of them. If I'd put them all together, I think there was probably another three or four tenths in there."

Looking ahead to the race, Hamilton added, "In terms of the race, it's a long, long run down to turn one so the start will be important. But our long run pace has looked really strong and we're on the better tyre, so the signs are good. Red Bull might have a slight advantage off the line on the SuperSoft - but it looks like that tyre will grain quite badly. As always, our strategist has done a fantastic job there."

Rosberg responded by saying, "This weekend it took a bit longer to find my rhythm. At the end of Qualifying I was quite happy with how I felt in the car and managed to pull out a good lap - but Lewis was just a bit quicker. I'm not happy to have missed out on the pole position. But, on the other hand, starting from second place here is not that bad. There are a lot of opportunities, as the straight down to turn one on the first lap is very long. We've seen a few times this year that pole is not so important. It will be a challenging race and we need to have an eye on the Red Bull."

Max Verstappen was third quickest and only marginally behind Rosberg - a mere 0.096 seconds. The Dutch rookie will hope to get between the Mercedes cars early in the race.

He shared, “I am very pleased with the way qualifying went, we have put ourselves on the second row again which means we are in an ideal position to fight from the start. All weekend we have had a good car. We are still just a little down on top speed which makes it hard to compete with the Mercedes in qualifying, but we are still pretty close so that is a good achievement."

The youngster added, "Race pace looked strong which means we are looking forward to tomorrow.”

Meanwhile after impressing on Friday, Ferrari failed to really turn up in the final run in qualifying and Kimi Raikkonen once again outperformed Sebastian Vettel, who was a disappointing seventh. The German shared after, "The car is quick. Q2 was a walk in the park with soft tyres. I had a much better feel than with the super-softs. It's clear that on the super-soft we did not make the step like everyone else. Everybody was improving by half a second; we didn't improve at all. That's why I'm so annoyed. We start where the car doesn't belong. We are quicker than most people, we should start second row and even have a crack at first row if everything goes well."

Kimi Raikkonen was only 0.005 seconds quicker than Vettel and will share the third row with Force India's Nico Hulkenberg.