Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel stole pole position for the Mexican Grand Prix from Red Bull’s Max Verstappen as Lewis Hamilton lines up third. Verstappen was quickest after the first runs of the last part of qualifying by a quarter of a second, but a superb effort by Vettel put him on top. He pipped the Dutchman by 0.086secs, saying on the radio: “What a lap.”
Hamilton, who needs only to finish fifth in today’s race to be sure of the title, was 0.446secs off pole.
Hamilton and team-mate Valtteri Bottas topped the first part of qualifying but the presence of Vettel and Verstappen just 0.1secs behind them, despite using one grade harder tyres, suggested it would be difficult to stay there, and so it proved.
Hamilton said: “I gave it everything I could. The last lap could have been a couple of tenths quicker but I wouldn’t have been able to match those times [of the leading two]. We are still in for the win and I am hoping I get to have at least a battle with one of them.”
Verstappen was under investigation by the race stewards for potentially impeding Bottas’ first lap in the final session in the stadium section, but after studying the incident, the stewards ruled Verstappen had not impeded Bottas.
Verstappen said: “Which incident? I was on the inside and he was doing his line and so there is no incident.”
Vettel claimed his 50th career pole and afterwards said: “We have to maximise every session. Today is really important and tomorrow [Sunday] we [will] see. It is not as much in my control as I would like it to be. We go all out and attack.
“We deserve a good result. Ferrari deserves a good result. So we see what we can do tomorrow.”
PREMIERSHIP RESULTS & FIXTURES
Man United 1 – 0 Tottenham
Arsenal 2 – 1 Swansea
Crystal Palace 2 – 2 West Ham
Liverpool 3 – 0 Huddersfield
Watford 0 – 1 Stoke
West Brom 2 – 3 Man City
Bournemouth 0 – 1 Chelsea
Brighton vs Southampton 2:30pm
Leicester vs Everton 5pm