Three-time Formula One world champion Max Verstappen will start Sunday’s Mexican Grand Prix from third place after setting a fastest time of 01:17.263s.
Speaking following qualifying, Verstappen said:
I tried to do the best I could but it just didn’t come together today. There’s very low grip around this circuit because of the altitude, so it’s not as easy to push as hard as I usually would in qualifying. I didn’t have the perfect balance in Q3 and that cost us a few tenths here and there. Nevertheless, we were still close to the Ferraris and it’s a long race tomorrow. I am feeling confident, I of course would’ve liked to start first tomorrow but we’ll have a good slipstream into turn one so let’s see what we can do.”
Hometown hero Sergio ‘Checo’ Perez starts the race from 5th place with a time of 01:17.423s.
Speaking following the action, Checo Perez said:
I don’t know where the Ferraris came from, we were not expecting them to be that fast. Overall, it got a clean lap and it felt ok but I just lacked some progression through qualifying, which I didn’t get fully and that really hurt us. Not having a new set in Q3 wasn’t ideal, that probably proved quite costly with the evolution and being on a used tyre. We wanted to be on the first two rows but we are still P5 and a lot of things can happen tomorrow, I need to overtake four cars and anything can be done in this sport. It’s a long race and it’s a long way into turn one, we know overtaking here can be really difficult, but anything can happen and I know I have the support of this crowd behind me.”
Oracle Red Bull Racing Team Principal and CEO Christian Horner commented saying:
Not the qualifying session we are used to seeing. We did well but Ferrari really pulled it out at the end. I think even they were surprised. Q1 and Q2 looked like a struggle for them and then they put in a very strong time that first run in Q3. They couldn’t better it on the second run, we put in a strong lap but it wasn’t enough. Congrats to them they were very quick in a very confusing session but equally, good to see both Daniel in P4 and Checo in P5. We are looking forward to tomorrow, we have a good race car and as long as they stay out of trouble on that first lap we should be set up well. Arguably starting in the front is not where you really want to be on this track with that huge run down to turn1. It will be interesting to see if there is some formation driving by Ferrari, but it’s a pretty wide track and it will make a really exciting race.”