But heading into Qualifying, it would seem that Mercedes are looking like the team to beat heading into the session that look set to gain Pole Position ahead of the race on Sunday. But Ferrari, Toro Rosso or Force India may spring a surprise and throw a spanner into the works based on their early pace and promise within the Practice sessions.
It was announced before qualifying that Jenson Button would not be taking part due to signal problems with his Honda engine; alongside the Honda engine misfiring. This is a great shame for Button who hasn’t had much running on the track either.
Also Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen will receive a five place grid penalty for changing his engine and also his gearbox that will be applied after the session has ended.
Let the battle for Pole Position begin…
In Q1, Nico Rosberg tops the timesheets with a time of 1.20.436, Sebastian Vettel was second, Lewis Hamilton was third, Valtteri Bottas was fourth and Daniil Kvyat was fifth. Sergio Perez, Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo, Carlos Sainz Jr and Nico Hulkenberg managed to get 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th places for their teams. At the end of Q1, we lose Fernando Alonso, Felipe Nasr, Alexander Rossi and Will Stevens.
In Q2, Hamilton tops the timesheets with a lap time of 1.19.829 , Vettel was second fastest, Rosberg was third fastest, Bottas was fourth and Kvyat was fifth. Felipe Massa, Sergio Perez, Daniel Ricciardo, Max Verstappen and Nico Hulkenberg managed to get 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th places for their teams. At the end of Q2, we lose Sainz Jr, Grosjean, Maldonado, Ericsson and Raikkonen.
During Q2, Kimi Raikkonen spins his car at Turn 1 bizarrely and manages to regain control of the car and carry on. However on team radio, Raikkonen states that he cannot not take any further part in qualifying due to problems with his brakes and also with the transmission on his Ferrari that will need to be investigated further by the team before the race tomorrow on Sunday.
But we do see spots of rain hitting the circuit, especially at the final corner which could see the Pole Position shoot out becoming even more exciting. The battle for Pole Position is on…
In Q3, Rosberg takes his fifth Pole Position of this season, his fourth consecutive Pole in a row and his twentieth Pole of his career at the Mexican GP with a lap time of 1.19.480 and showing that he can still challenge Rosberg finished ahead of Hamilton who was 0.370 seconds behind Rosberg and also ahead of Bottas who did a super job to finish in third 0.370 seconds behind Rosberg.
Kvyat finished in fourth place 0.918 seconds behind Rosberg, Ricciardo finished in fifth 0.919 seconds behind Rosberg, Bottas finished in sixth 0.968 seconds behind Rosberg, Massa finished in seventh 1.087 seconds behind Rosberg, Verstappen finished in eighth 1.230 seconds behind Rosberg, Perez finished in ninth 1.236 seconds behind Rosberg and Hulkenberg finished in tenth place 1.308 seconds behind Rosberg.
During Q3, Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton battled hard on the track to claim Pole Position. However on his final run, Hamilton went wide during the Stadium section which may have cost him Pole.
But we did also see a battle between Nico Hulkenberg and Valtteri Bottas with Hulkenberg’s engineer on his last lap of the session stating to his driver via the team radio; “You’re pushing, you’re pushing! Do not [let Bottas past], you’re on a timed lap now Nico. Shut up, I’ll tell you where the traffic is, you’re on a push lap.”
It would seem that Mercedes genuinely has the pace to challenge for the race win again this weekend despite their form in Qualifying. Both of the Mercedes drivers seem to have the cars underneath them to do this and have been consistent and fast throughout every session so far this weekend.
You cannot discount Vettel, Ricciardo or Kvyat even to be challenging also for the race win and could also be the dark horses to take the win away from Mercedes (and also Ferrari in Mercedes’ case) that could see gaining some points on their rivals to leapfrog in the Constructors Championship.
Hulkenberg, Massa and Perez could also have a decent race tomorrow and pick up some much needed points for their respective teams. Will it rain tomorrow? I do not know. Who will win the Grand Prix tomorrow? I really don’t know Who will win the championship after this race?
Let’s see what happens tomorrow on the Mexican circuit on race day tomorrow…