Rosberg beats Hamilton to Mexican pole

Nico Rosberg secured his twentieth career pole position after beating Mercedes AMG PETRONAS team-mate Lewis Hamilton to top spot for the first Mexican Grand Prix since 1992.

The German driver secured pole position with a time of 1m19.480s, 0.188s faster than team-mate and recently crowned triple World Champion Hamilton, who made a mistake on his final flying lap.

Sebastian Vettel admitted he had ‘tried everything’ to beat the Mercedes-duo during the session, but the Scuderia Ferrari driver ended up third on the grid, 0.370s back on Rosberg’s pole time.

Daniil Kvyat came out on top in the battle of the Infiniti Red Bull Racing drivers, with the Russian beating Australian team-mate Daniel Ricciardo to fourth position by just 0.001s.

Valtteri Bottas was sixth fastest for the Williams Martini Racing team ahead of team-mate Felipe Massa, while Max Verstappen ended the session in eighth in his Scuderia Toro Rosso.

Sergio Perez, who received a rapturous reception every time he drove around the circuit from his home fans, qualified ninth just ahead of his Sahara Force India team-mate Nico Hulkenberg.

Late quick laps from both Verstappen and Massa saw the second Toro Rosso of Carlos Sainz Jr and the leading Lotus F1 Team entry of Romain Grosjean eliminated at the end of the second session, with the second Lotus of Pastor Maldonado thirteenth on the grid ahead of the leading Sauber of Marcus Ericsson.

Kimi Raikkonen was also eliminated at the end of Q2 after the Ferrari driver complained of a braking issue that saw him spin at turn one, with the Finn returning to the pits and exiting the session. Raikkonen will start eighteenth in Mexico due to a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change.

McLaren-Honda once again struggled, with Fernando Alonso being eliminated in Q1, along with the second Sauber of Felipe Nasr and the two Manor F1 Team drivers, Alexander Rossi once again ahead of Will Stevens.

The second McLaren of Jenson Button never took to the track after a misfire in his engine during final practice necessitated another change of engine that was not able to be completed in time to get him out on track to qualify. The Briton would have started last on the grid in any case with the fifty-place grid penalty for a double engine change this weekend, with Button being joined on the back row by team-mate Alonso following his own engine change.

Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez Qualifying Result

16Nico RosbergGERMercedes1m19.480s
244Lewis HamiltonGBRMercedes1m19.668s
35Sebastian VettelGERFerrari1m19.850s
426Daniil KvyatRUSRed Bull-Renault1m20.398s
53Daniel RicciardoAUSRed Bull-Renault1m20.399s
677Valtteri BottasFINWilliams-Mercedes1m20.448s
719Felipe MassaBRZWilliams-Mercedes1m20.567s
833Max VerstappenNEDToro Rosso-Renault1m20.710s
911Sergio PerezMEXForce India-Mercedes1m20.716s
1027Nico HulkenbergGERForce India-Mercedes1m20.788s
--Eliminated in Q2---
1155Carlos Sainz JrESPToro Rosso-Renault1m20.942s
128Romain GrosjeanFRALotus-Mercedes1m21.038s
1313Pastor MaldonadoVENLotus-Mercedes1m21.261s
149Marcus EricssonSWESauber-Ferrari1m21.544s
157Kimi RaikkonenFINFerrari1m22.494s
--Eliminated in Q1---
1614Fernando AlonsoESPMcLaren-Honda1m21.779s
1712Felipe NasrBRZSauber-Ferrari1m21.788s
1853Alexander RossiUSAManor-Ferrari1m24.136s
1928Will StevensGBRManor-Ferrari1m24.386s
2022Jenson ButtonGBRMcLaren-HondaNo Time