Bottas wins pole in Mexico; Mercedes threatens

“Long live Mexico,” said Valtteri Bottas on the radio still aboard the car, upon learning that he was the leader of the classification and with that, he gave Mercedes-AMG its third pole in the last six editions in Mexico.

He stopped the car, got out, got on it and raised both arms to celebrate with the Mexican public. Afterwards, he shook hands with his teammate Lewis Hamilton who will go out with him in the front row on Sunday at 1pm.

Faced with a total attendance of 117,415 fans on the second day of the Mexico City Grand Prix, the Finnish driver had a lap of 1: 15.875 minutes, which was the best of his starts on the 4.3-kilometer-long track, and with the which recovers the record for the fastest turn at the Hermanos Rodríguez.

“It was an incredible lap. I honestly think that the first race in Q3 was one of my best laps, and it’s a good feeling, ”Bottas said of the result that also meant 19th pole in his career.

Mercedes emerges as a potential threat to Red Bull using the medium tires with which it appears to be most competitive on this rubber.

“I had a slight problem on my first outing, but on the second, of Q3, I did one of my best laps. The team worked very well since the morning. We need a good start. The important thing is that as a team we are both at the forefront and with that we must work ”, said Bottas.

In second place was Hamilton at 0.145 seconds, while the Dutchman Max Verstappen (Red Bull Racing) was in third when he was 0.350 seconds behind Bottas, after his last lap was spoiled by traffic. Mexican Sergio Pérez was affected by the same incident as Max and will start from fourth position, staying 0.467 seconds behind the fastest. About three hours earlier, Checo Pérez had led Free Practice 3.

Pierre Gasly, from AlphaTauri; Carlos Sainz, from Ferrari; Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren); Charles Leclerc (Ferrari), Tsunoda (AlphaTauri) and Lando Norris (McLaren) completed the top 10 in Q3.

Two crash moments were involved in qualifying, first that of Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll, when his car skidded and a front tire hit the barrier. The red flag appeared and the race was stopped for about 30 minutes.

The second mishap was that of Antonio Giovinazzi, who had a moment of loss at Turn 12 when he slid into the barrier. He started up again, but only managed to be the 14th fastest driver. He left the session together with the Frenchman Esteban Ocon, who will start on Sunday from behind due to an engine change.

The pilots had commented on Friday, the first day of practice, that the track was very dusty, dirty. In this regard, Marco Tolama, motorsport commentator and director of Auto y Pista explained to this newspaper that throughout the races and with the passing of the tires, the road has evolved and has better grip: “the track is in optimal conditions” .

As the fastest driver in the rankings, Bottas received the replica helmet of Juan Manuel Fangio, a former driver who was crowned Formula 1 world champion in 1951 and finished the 1953 season as runner-up.

“Fangio has been one of my greatest heroes. To celebrate 70 years of his first title, I want to present this helmet with all due respect to Juan Manuel ”, said Jackie Stewart as he gave him the trophy.

Classification Results:

Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) (1: 15.875)

Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) (1:16.020)

Max Verstappen (Red Bull Racing) (1:16.225)

Sergio Pérez (RB Racing) (1: 16.342)

Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri) (1:16.456)

[email protected]

Leave a Comment