Lewis Hamilton secured his fifty-ninth career pole position at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez on Saturday, but admitted to being disappointed with both of his runs during Q3.
The Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team racer set a best time of 1:18.704 to take top spot, but felt mistakes on each of his quick laps cost him a few tenths of a second, and prevented the 0.254 second gap to team-mate Nico Rosberg from being bigger.
“It’s been a really solid weekend so far,” admitted Hamilton. “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.”
Hamilton believes the team will be starting on the right tyre on Sunday after both Mercedes drivers made it through Q2 by only using the Soft compound, although he expects Red Bull Racing to be a threat early on with both Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo starting on the Supersoft.
“In terms of the race, it’s a long, long run down to turn one so the start will be important,” said Hamilton. “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.
“Looking after the soft tyre, avoiding lockups and flat spots will give us a challenge. But the car has been great this weekend, so I hope that continues through tomorrow.
“This is a race I haven’t won yet and I’d love to tick it off the list in front of this amazing crowd, who have been really spectacular all weekend.”