Brendon Hartley felt he had the chance to qualify ahead of the two Williams Martini Racing drivers at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez on Saturday had it not been for his STR12 to fail on him early on during Q2.
The Scuderia Toro Rosso driver had made it through to Q2 for the first time in just his second outing in Formula 1, and was on his first flying lap in the second session when he lost power exiting turn three, and ground to a halt a little further around the lap to bring out yellow flags.
Hartley admitted he has been much more prepared for the weekend in Mexico than he was seven days ago in the United States, and he feels he can make progress in the race and potentially challenge for the points.
“Today was a little bit frustrating!” said Hartley. “I’m a bit disappointed as I didn’t get to put everything on the line and I think we had a chance to be fairly up the pack; to be ahead of the Williams was definitely on the cards today.
“Braking into Turn 1 in Q2 I felt like it was spot on and I was pumped up for the lap, when the engine went bang… I don’t know what happened!
“My confidence has been building all the time, lap after lap, and I was really looking forward to Q2 to really give it a crack. I’m feeling better and better in the car and, if Austin was a tough ask, I’ve come here a lot more prepared… that’s for sure.
“Mexico’s a track I really enjoy and I will give it all tomorrow to have the best possible race!”