Sports Desk, Nov 6 (EFE).- Finland’s Valtteri Bottas took pole and British teammate Lewis Hamilton finished second Saturday to give Mercedes a front row lockout in qualifying for the Formula One Grand Prix of Mexico.
After dominating in practice, the Red Bull duo of Dutch driver Max Verstappen and Mexico’s own Sergio “Checo” Perez had to settle for the third and fourth positions, respectively.
It was the 19th career pole for Bottas, set to leave Mercedes for Alfa Romeo at the end of the season, while Verstappen failed to qualify for the front row for only the sixth time in 2021.
The Dutchman goes into Sunday’s race at Mexico City’s Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez with a 12-point lead in the driver standings over Hamilton, who is in pursuit of what would be a record eighth F1 world championship.
Perez had delighted the Mexican crowd with great runs in all three practice sessions, but ran off the track in Q3 in a moment of distraction.
The lapse cost Checo his chance at poll and also hampered Verstappen, who had to slow down slightly when his teammate went off.
France’s Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri) was fifth, followed by Spaniard Carlos Sainz (Ferrari), Australian Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren), Monaco’s Charles Leclerc (Ferrari), Japanese driver Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri) and Briton Lando Norris (McLaren).
Due to grid penalties for engine changes, Tsunoda and Norris will start from the fifth row on Sunday.
German four-time champion Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin) and Finland’s Kimi Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo) move up to P9 and P10. EFE