Formula One

F1 Mexico GP qualifying result: Leclerc scores back-to-back poles, leads surprising Ferrari 1-2

F1 Mexico GP qualifying results pole position Charles Leclerc Ferrari
Copyright: Moy / XPB Images – Photo by Icon sport

Charles Leclerc came through in qualifying again, working some of his single lap magic. The Monegasque led a shock 1-2 for Ferrari, demoting weekend dominator Max Verstappen to third.

F1 Mexico GP qualifying results: Who will be on pole?

Charles Leclerc will be on pole for the Mexican GP. The Monegasque scored back-to-back pole positions for the first time this season, leading teammate Carlos Sainz Jr. in a stunning front row lockout for Ferrari. With a 1:17.166s, Leclerc beat Sainz by just 0.067s, with Verstappen a further 0.03s down on Sainz.

Q1: Verstappen leads, but is placed under investigation. Norris out early

The first segment of qualifying took a while to get going. Drivers opted to save their tyres, sitting out the early minutes. Verstappen led the way after the first running, with Daniel Ricciardo slotting into a surprising second place after getting a nice tow from teammate Yuki Tsunoda down the straight.

Alexander Albon, who had finished second in FP1 and FP3, struggled with pace. The Thai driver was deep in the cutoff after his first run, but managed to improve to ninth by the end of the first segment. McLaren left its run to the final minutes of the session. While Oscar Piastri got through without problems, his teammate Lando Norris, who had to stay in a few extra minutes to solve an unspecified issue in his car, did not have the same luck.

After making a mistake on his first attempt, the British driver was caught out by a yellow flag in sector 1, caused by Fernando Alonso spinning on the exit of turn 3. In the end, the McLaren man found himself down in 18th, and out in Q1.

Alonso’s yellos flag led to chaos down the order. Joining Norris in the cutoff zone were Esteban Ocon, Kevin Magnussen, Lance Stroll, and Logan Sargeant.

Up the order, Verstappen topped the segment, but not without trouble. The Dutchman was placed under investigation for impeding in the pitlane, triggering a similar incident to the one in Singapore.

Q2: Hamilton goes top with a late flyer

Unlike Q1, both Red Bulls were immediately out on track to set their respective banker laps. Verstappen led the way through the first run, followed again by Piastri and Ricciardo.

Red Bull chose not to go for its second lap. Mercedes took advantage of the opportunity, with Lewis Hamilton topping the second segment. Teammate George Russell was third, with Verstappen’s banker being good enough for second.

Down the order, the fight for the last transfer spot was a tight one. Pierre Gasly initially demoted Nico Hulkenberg. Zhou Guanyu did the same to the Frenchman, briefly moving to 10th. Alexander Albon seemingly had gotten the last laugh, squeezing through into ninth place. But the Williams driver had his laptime deleted for track limits, which promoted Zhou back to 10th.

Q3: Leclerc scores shock pole, Ferrari locks out front row

The fight at the top was close in Q3, with Ferrari setting a shocking 1-2 at the end of the first running. Leclerc, with a 1:17.166s led Sainz by just 0.067s, with Verstappen third and 0.120s down.

The sun came out during the second run, slowing the track slightly. Leclerc and Sainz both failed to improve on their previous benchmark, allowing Verstappen a shot. Despite going purple in sector 2, however, the Dutchman lost time in sector 3, and ended up 0.097s behind Leclerc’s time.

Ricciardo, Perez, Hamilton, Piastri, Russell, and Alfa Romeo duo Vallteri Bottas and Zhou completed the top 10.

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