The stands around the circuit were packed with enthusiastic Mexican fans cheering on their local hero, Sergio Perez. However, it was Charles Leclerc who took everyone by surprise during qualifying, ending teammate Max Verstappen’s dominance in practice sessions with a stunning pole position.
Qualifying was not without its fair share of incidents. Max Verstappen, among others, was investigated for standing still at the exit of the pit lane. Lewis Hamilton also faced scrutiny for not slowing down enough and overtaking under a yellow flag. Fernando Alonso’s spin in his Aston Martin triggered this investigation.
In a surprising turn of events, Lando Norris from McLaren was eliminated in Q1, while his teammate Oscar Piastri impressed with the second fastest time. Q2 saw Lewis Hamilton setting the pace, closely followed by Max Verstappen, George Russell, and Daniel Ricciardo.
During the first series of fast runs in Q3, both Ferraris outperformed Verstappen, with Charles Leclerc securing the provisional pole position and Carlos Sainz close behind. In the final run, Verstappen managed to improve his time but could only secure third place. Leclerc’s unexpected pole position, alongside Sainz’s second-place finish, marked a remarkable front row for Ferrari. Daniel Ricciardo claimed an impressive fourth place, adding pressure to Sergio Perez’s race seat at Red Bull, who settled for the fifth fastest time.
Leclerc’s pole position and Ferrari’s performance have set the stage for an exciting race in Mexico. However, the starting grid may witness changes as several drivers, including Verstappen, are under investigation and may face grid penalties.
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