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RECAP: Bottas claims pole for the Mexican Grand Prix

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO – NOVEMBER 06: Valtteri Bottas of Finland driving the (77) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes W12 during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Mexico at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez on November 06, 2021 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Bryn Lennon – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

Valtteri Bottas has claimed pole position for tomorrow’s Mexico City Grand Prix, with Lewis Hamilton in second and Max Verstappen completing the top three.

The session for Red Bull began with heavy work on both cars in the rear wing areas, as they suffered failures during FP3.

The first flying lap of the session was set by Mick Schumacher with the soft tire, setting a time of 1:21.524 (later deleted due to track limits), which was quickly beaten by the Alfa Romeo of Kimi Raikkonen, quicker by 2.416 seconds.

Charles Leclerc was the fastest of the Ferraris by the start of the session, with a time of 1:17.991s. Qualifying was then red-flagged as Lance Stroll heavily crashed through the last turn and into the start/finish straight.

The session resumed minutes later as the FIA checked the state of the barriers at the site of the crash. The Ferrari of Carlos Sainz went out and immediately reported a loss of power, continuing slowly for a few seconds before recovering.

A few minutes later Lewis Hamilton topped the session but was quickly overtaken by his teammate Valtteri Bottas with a time of 1:17.516s. However, the home hero Sergio Pérez stole the first spot momentarily before his teammate Max Verstappen set the fastest lap, a 1:16.788s.

Valtteri Bottas set the fastest lap of Q1 with a time of 1:16.727, with Leclerc behind him by a gap of 0.021s and Verstappen completing the top three by a gap of 0.061s. Alonso, Latifi, Schumacher, Mazepin and Stroll were eliminated.

Qualifying 2 saw the usual names of Verstappen and Hamilton at the top of the timing sheets. However, the AlphaTauri of Yuki Tsunoda challenged Bottas for P3 as the Japanese set a faster time than the Finnish driver who finished the session in P4.

The Ferrari of Sainz struggled to qualify higher than P9, but at least he did so ahead of the McLaren of Lando Norris. Leclerc on the other hand qualified 6th ahead of Sergio Pérez.

George Russell did not manage to extract more performance from his Williams and qualified 13th ahead of Antonio Giovinazzi who also struggled, spinning in the final stages of the session. Raikkonen, Esteban Ocon, and Sebastian Vettel were the remaining eliminated drivers.

Qualifying 3 saw both Mercedes start strong as Bottas quickly grabbed the first spot followed by his teammate Hamilton. They both had the Red Bull pair behind them, with Verstappen leading it.

The last round of flying laps saw Sergio Perez struggling as he went off track and ruined his lap as he placed 4th. Max Verstappen did not manage to improve his lap time and stayed in P3. Valtteri Bottas claimed Pole position with his teammate Lewis Hamilton behind.

Here are the results from today’s qualifying:

1Valtteri BottasMercedes1:15.875
2Lewis HamiltonMercedes+0.145
3Max VerstappenRed Bull+0.350
4Sergio PerezRed Bull+0.467
5Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri+0.581
6Carlos SainzFerrari+0.886
7Daniel RicciardoMcLaren+0.888
8Charles LeclercFerrari+0.962
9Yuki TsunodaAlphaTauri+1.283
10Lando NorrisMcLaren+20.955
11Sebastian VettelAston Martin
12Kimi RaikkonenAlfa Romeo
13George RussellWillliams
14Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo
15Esteban OconAlpine
16Fernando AlonsoAlpine
17Nicholas LatifiWilliams
18Mick SchumacherHaas
19Nikita MazepinHaas
20Lance StrollAston MartinDNF
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