Bottas denies Mercedes F1 team-mate Hamilton Abu Dhabi GP pole
Valtteri Bottas narrowly beat Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton to pole position for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, as Mercedes locked out the front row of the grid.
Hamilton led the way throughout free practice at the Yas Marina circuit, and was fastest in Q2 as well, but Bottas was fractionally quicker than Hamilton in Q1 and got back ahead during the first runs in Q3, taking provisional pole with a 1m36.231s lap.
That proved enough for top spot when neither Mercedes driver found time on their second runs, Hamilton falling short by 0.172 seconds.
Sebastian Vettel was third fastest in the best of the Ferraris, improving to a 1m36.777s best on his final Q3 run but ending up almost four tenths down on the Mercedes drivers.
Team-mate Kimi Raikkonen was provisionally fourth quickest until a last-gasp effort from Daniel Ricciardo’s Red Bull displaced Raikkonen from the second row by just 0.026s.
Max Verstappen rounded out the top six, 0.353s down on Raikkonen.
Nico Hulkenberg’s Renault was best of the rest in seventh, less than a tenth clear of Sergio Perez, who in turn was only 0.023s clear of team-mate Esteban Ocon.
Ocon was compromised by battling for track position with Bottas on their final Q3 out-lap.
Felipe Massa’s Williams completed the top 10, 0.153s further back after only completing one run in Q3.
Massa was one of only six drivers to find time on his second run in Q2, which proved enough to bump Fernando Alonso’s McLaren-Honda out of the top 10 by 0.071s.
Carlos Sainz Jr was another of those to find time after a "poor out-lap" ruined his first run. He got his Renault up to 12th ahead of the second McLaren-Honda of Stoffel Vandoorne, despite suffering a problem with his engine at the last corner.
Kevin Magnussen was 14th for Haas, almost half a second adrift of Vandoorne but well clear of the second Williams of Lance Stroll, who could not lap faster than 1m39.6s however hard he tried.
Stroll at least made Q2 for the eighth time this season, his passage from Q1 coming at the expense of Romain Grosjean, whose Haas missed the cut by just 0.013s as Stroll pulled the first of those 1m39.6s laps out of the bag at the end.
"Oh God that was everything!" said Stroll over the radio upon learning he’d made the top 15.
Pierre Gasly put the best of the Toro Rossos 17th, two tenths slower than Grosjean and two tenths clear of Sauber pair Pascal Wehrlein and Marcus Ericsson, who were separated by just six hundredths of a second.
Brendon Hartley qualified slowest of all by some distance in the second Toro Rosso. Porsche’s World Endurance champion delivered a "scruffy" first lap, improved on his second run, but finished the session nearly half a second down on Ericsson.
Qualifying last negates Hartley’s grid penalty for taking a ninth MGU-H on his Renault engine ahead of practice.
|4||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m36.959s||0.728s|
|6||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m37.328s||1.097s|
|8||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m38.374s||2.143s|
|9||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||1m38.397s||2.166s|
|17||Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m39.724s||–|
|20||Brendon Hartley||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m40.471s||–|
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix: Hamilton leads Mercedes one-two in practice
Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton led a Mercedes one-two in the final free practice session of the 2017 season at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Hamilton set the fastest lap of the weekend so far to end up 0.273 seconds ahead of team-mate Valtteri Bottas at the chequered flag.
The hour-long daytime session was incident-free for the most part but featured a memorable virtual safety car interruption midway through, initiated after wind had left an umbrella on the racing line at the Turn 8 left-hander.
Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen set the early benchmark in the session with a 1m38.999s on ultra-softs – and despite the Finn having locked his left front tyre on the entry to the Turn 7 hairpin, neither team-mate Sebastian Vettel, nor Bottas could surpass him with their first attempts.
Yet Hamilton could, logging a 1m38.702s on his first try to go top. Bottas then went 0.065s quicker, but the 2017 champion strung together three session-best sectors in response for an overall lap time of 1m38.159s.
He then tried two more flying laps on the same set as the session approached halfway point but couldn’t improve, his earlier lap still enough for him to end the run half a second in the clear.
When the frontrunners went out again, having bolted on new ultra-softs, Raikkonen reclaimed the top spot for Ferrari by just 0.002s – with Vettel then slotting in 0.017s behind.
But Hamilton responded again, producing a 1m37.627s lap that surpassed the weekend benchmark the Brit himself had set in the twilight practice session on Friday.
Bottas, who narrowly avoided a major off at the final corner, then slotted into second – and with no further improvements within the top four, Raikkonen and Vettel were left half a second off the pace in third and fourth at the flag.
Daniel Ricciardo led the way for Red Bull in fifth, 0.713s off the pace and two tenths up on Max Verstappen, his team-mate audibly frustrated by the handling of the RB13.
The two McLarens led the midfield pack, Fernando Alonso ahead of Stoffel Vandoorne in seventh, with Renault newcomer Carlos Sainz Jr and Force India’s Sergio Perez making up the top 10.
Williams driver Felipe Massa ended his final practice session in F1 in 11th, more than a second ahead of team-mate Lance Stroll.
Toro Rosso, narrowly ahead of Renault and Haas in the fight for sixth in the constructors’ standings, had a rough session – with Pierre Gasly only 18th and Brendon Hartley, who will be taking his fourth grid penalty in four F1 races, last.
|5||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m38.340s||0.713s||16|
|6||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m38.587s||0.960s||14|
|10||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m39.367s||1.740s||19|
|13||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||1m39.500s||1.873s||18|
|18||Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m40.737s||3.110s||21|
|20||Brendon Hartley||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m40.883s||3.256s||23|
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Friday practice: Hamilton fastest for Mercedes
Lewis Hamilton beat Sebastian Vettel to the fastest time in second practice for the Formula 1 season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Mercedes driver Hamilton clocked a 1m37.877s to finish 0.149 seconds clear of Vettel’s Ferrari with Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo a tenth and a half further back in third.
Hamilton, who was pipped to the quickest time in first practice by Vettel, set the early benchmark with a 1m39.720s, with Ricciardo just 0.040s off in second.
The Briton continued with that run and improved again, with a 1m38.912s, to move 0.848s clear of Ricciardo as the sun set at Yas Marina.
Valtteri Bottas was the first driver to complete a qualifying simulation, clocking a 1m38.609s to go quickest in his Mercedes.
The Finn was usurped by Vettel before Hamilton became the first and only man to dip into the 1m37s.
With just over 40 minutes to go, attention turned to long-run data gathering, with Bottas and Hamilton focusing on the ultra-softs.
Hamilton then joined Vettel on running the super-softs for the final part of the 90-minute session, which provided conditions that would be similar to those in the race.
Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen was fourth quickest, 0.475s off the pace, with Bottas two tenths further back in fifth.
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was a second off the pace in seventh and 0.7s slower than team-mate Ricciardo.
Force India duo Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon, who were separated by just 0.010s, were eighth and ninth respectively.
Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg and McLaren’s Fernando Alonso completed the top 10.
Felipe Massa, contesting his last grand prix weekend, was the leading Williams in 11th, seven tenths ahead of team-mate Lance Stroll.
Romain Grosjean spent most of the session in the garage as his Haas team worked on fixing an electrical problem, and completed just 12 laps.
|3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m38.180s||0.303s||34|
|6||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m38.894s||1.017s||34|
|7||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m39.323s||1.446s||33|
|8||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||1m39.333s||1.456s||36|
|15||Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m40.694s||2.817s||39|
|19||Brendon Hartley||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m41.496s||3.619s||39|
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel fastest in first Abu Dhabi GP practice
Sebastian Vettel beat Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton to the quickest time in first practice for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Ferrari driver Vettel clocked a 1m39.006s on the ultra-soft Pirelli tyres to end the 90-minute session 0.120 seconds clear of Hamilton at Yas Marina.
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was only 0.028s further back in third place, with Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen fourth, half a second off the ultimate pace.
Hamilton was the early pacesetter, clocking a 1m41.135s on the soft tyres, with team-mate Valtteri Bottas focusing on the super-soft tyres.
Raikkonen, whose Ferrari featured a Red Bull-style diffuser as part of the team’s experiments for 2018, then went quickest on the ultra-softs.
The Finn improved again to a 1m39.741s, but was then demoted as Hamilton and Bottas fitted the ultra-soft tyres just before the halfway mark.
Bottas was the first to cross the line, moving to the top of the pile with a 1m39.741s, but Hamilton beat that by an impressive 0.615s.
Though Verstappen’s first effort on the ultra-softs was just a fraction off Hamilton’s pace, both were bumped down when Vettel did his ultra-soft run.
Bottas ended the session fifth quickest, ahead of Force India’s Sergio Perez, who was 1.287s off the pace.
Fernando Alonso didn’t set a laptime until the second half of the session, with the McLaren driver slotting straight into the top 10 on the ultra-soft tyres.
He ended up seventh, 1.516s off the pace and just 0.037s ahead of McLaren team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne in eighth.
Felipe Massa, contesting his final F1 grand prix weekend, was ninth for Williams with Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo rounding out the top 10.
Mercedes protege George Russell borrowed Esteban Ocon’s Force India for first practice and ended up 11th fastest, eight tenths adrift of Perez.
Antonio Giovinazzi was the other non-race driver to take part in the session, running in place of Kevin Magnussen at Haas and going 18th quickest.
Renault’s Carlos Sainz Jr and Nico Hulkenberg were down in 15th and 17th respectively, but they did not run the ultra-soft tyre. Hulkenberg also had a quick spin out of Turn 14 at the end of the complex that follows the track’s second long straight.
|3||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m39.154s||0.148s||15|
|6||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m40.293s||1.287s||24|
|10||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m40.773s||1.767s||29|
|11||George Russell||Force India/Mercedes||1m41.131s||2.125s||26|
|14||Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m41.646s||2.640s||29|
|20||Brendon Hartley||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m42.585s||3.579s||35|
Yas Marina – The last racing weekend of the season got underway as the Scuderia Ferrari drivers tried their hand at the 21-turn circuit which hosts the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Both Kimi and Seb used Ultrasoft tires during the first session, run in daylight, and switched to a combination of Ultra and Supersofts for the second session which took place after sunset.
“On Friday, we always try to make progress in the set-up of the car”, said Kimi. “For sure there are things we have to improve; there is some work to be done, but that’s the normal story. Today, it was not easy to put a good lap together; the car felt very good in some places, while in some others it could have been better. It’s too early to have a clear idea; later this evening we’ll analyze all the data that we gathered in both sessions and we’ll try to do our best over the weekend”.
Brazilian GP: Bottas beats Vettel to pole after Hamilton crashes
Valtteri Bottas narrowly claimed pole position for the Brazilian Grand Prix, as Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton crashed out in Q1.
Hamilton was one of the favourites for pole after leading Friday practice and trailing Mercedes F1 team-mate Bottas by just 0.003 seconds in FP3, but Hamilton crashed heavily at the high-speed Ferradura right-hander on his first flying lap in qualifying.
Hamilton lost the rear of the car suddenly mid-corner and slammed hard into the barriers rear first.
He apologised to his team on the radio before emerging unscathed, but took no further part in the session.
Hamilton’s first Q1 exit since the 2016 Belgian GP cleared the way for Bottas to battle the Ferraris single-handedly for pole.
Bottas was fastest in Q1, but trailed Sebastian Vettel in Q2 and after the first runs in Q3.
Vettel failed to improve on his final run in Q3, but Bottas found 0.120s to beat Vettel to top spot by just 0.038s, with a best lap of 1m08.322s.
The second Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen was third quickest, just under two tenths slower than Vettel, while Max Verstappen’s Red Bull was the only other car to lap below 1m09s in fourth.
Daniel Ricciardo’s Red Bull was fifth, but he faces a 10-place grid penalty for an MGU-H change ahead of practice.
Sergio Perez’s Force India completed the top six, ahead of Fernando Alonso’s McLaren-Honda, the Renaults of Nico Hulkenberg and Carlos Sainz Jr, and the Williams of Felipe Massa, who almost crashed after gesticulating at Sainz in Q3.
Esteban Ocon failed to make Q3 for the first time since September’s Singapore Grand Prix, missing the cut by less than a tenth to Sainz.
Romain Grosjean broke into the 1m09s for the first time this weekend and briefly occupied a provisional Q3 spot, but fell to 12th as others improved at the end of Q2.
Stoffel Vandoorne’s McLaren-Honda and Grosjean’s Haas team-mate Kevin Magnussen ended up 13th and 14th, both paying the price for failing to break through the 1m10s barrier.
Toro Rosso’s Brendon Hartley was 15th, but he used Q2 to practice his start procedures rather than set a time, knowing he faces a 10-place grid penalty for an MGU-H change ahead of practice.
Hartley managed to drag himself narrowly into Q2 at the expense of Sauber’s Pascal Wehrlein and Toro Rosso team-mate Pierre Gasly, who all lapped in 1m10.6s in Q1.
Wehrlein was gutted to miss the cut by just 0.053s. Gasly, who faces a 25-place grid penalty for a brace of MGU-H changes, missed it by 0.061s.
Hamilton’s crash gave Williams extra time to finish preparing Lance Stroll’s car after changing its engine and gearbox ahead of the session, but Stroll could only manage the 18th quickest time, less than a tenth slower than Gasly.
Stroll will take a five-place grid penalty for that gearbox swap.
Marcus Ericsson was another tenth further back in the second Sauber, beating only Hamilton’s Mercedes, which failed to set a time.
|4||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||0.603s|
|5||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1.276s|
|10||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||1.508s|
|15||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1.008s|
|18||Brendon Hartley||Toro Rosso/Renault||–|
|19||Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso/Renault||2.364s|
Brazilian GP: Bottas pips Hamilton in a tight FP3 session
Valtteri Bottas set the pace in a tight Formula 1 final practice for the Brazilian Grand Prix as the top four were separated by just a fraction of a second.
The Mercedes driver clocked a 1m09.281s to finish just 0.003s clear of team-mate Lewis Hamilton at Interlagos.
Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen was 0.045s off the pace in third, with team-mate Sebastian Vettel only a further 0.013s adrift in fourth.
Cool and overcast conditions greeted the teams on Saturday, with Ferrari focusing on the super-soft tyres and Mercedes the softs early on.
Raikkonen led the way initially, 0.040s ahead of Vettel, with Hamilton able to get within a couple of tenths.
When attention turned to qualifying-simulations, it was Raikkonen who went quickest, but he was soon deposed by Bottas, who inched ahead.
Back came Raikkonen with another improvement, only for Vettel to move ahead by just 0.060s.
Raikkonen shaved another few hundredths to reclaim top spot, only for Bottas to pip him in the closing stages.
Just 0.058s separated the top four drivers, with the fastest sectors split between Hamilton, Vettel and Bottas.
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo was the closest challenger, leaving it until the final few minutes to pump in the fifth fastest time, 0.963s off the pace.
Fernando Alonso was an impressive sixth for McLaren, with Force India’s Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon separated by a 0.035s in sixth and seventh.
Max Verstappen survived a late spin late on, having taken too much of the exit kerb at the final corner, to finish ninth. Carlos Sainz Jr completed the top 10.
Felipe Massa, racing on home soil in F1 for the final time, was 11th quickest, but his last quick lap was scuppered because of Verstappen’s spin.
His Williams team-mate Lance Stroll failed to complete a timed lap after stopping out on track early in the session, reporting a loss of power.
Stroll needs a new gearbox, which will mean a five-place grid penalty, and an engine change but he will avoid a penalty for the latter by re-using an old engine.
|1||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team||Mercedes||1m09.281s|
|2||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team||Mercedes||0.003s|
|3||Kimi Raikkonen||Scuderia Ferrari||Ferrari||0.045s|
|4||Sebastian Vettel||Scuderia Ferrari||Ferrari||0.058s|
|5||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Racing||Red Bull/Renault||0.963s|
|6||Fernando Alonso||McLaren Honda||McLaren/Honda||1.007s|
|7||Sergio Perez||Sahara Force India F1 Team||Force India/Mercedes||1.041s|
|8||Esteban Ocon||Sahara Force India F1 Team||Force India/Mercedes||1.076s|
|9||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing||Red Bull/Renault||1.214s|
|10||Carlos Sainz||Renault Sport F1 Team||Renault||1.318s|
|11||Stoffel Vandoorne||McLaren Honda||McLaren/Honda||1.356s|
|12||Felipe Massa||Williams Martini Racing||Williams/Mercedes||1.390s|
|13||Kevin Magnussen||Haas F1 Team||Haas/Ferrari||1.440s|
|14||Nico Hulkenberg||Renault Sport F1 Team||Renault||1.462s|
|15||Romain Grosjean||Haas F1 Team||Haas/Ferrari||1.481s|
|16||Pierre Gasly||Scuderia Toro Rosso||Toro Rosso/Renault||1.700s|
|17||Brendon Hartley||Scuderia Toro Rosso||Toro Rosso/Renault||1.804s|
|18||Pascal Wehrlein||Sauber F1 Team||Sauber/Ferrari||1.845s|
|19||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber F1 Team||Sauber/Ferrari||2.199s|
|20||Lance Stroll||Williams Martini Racing||Williams/Mercedes||–|
“It’s only a Friday”, said Kimi, “and as always, we keep trying different things to learn from them. The tires will play a key role here as usual, the performance will depend on how they work and how long they will last. I felt some vibrations at the beginning of my stint, but that’s quite normal to have sometimes in the car: usually it comes from tires and different sets. We don’t know what the temperatures will be over the rest of the weekend, but we cannot change them anyway and it will be the same for everybody”.
Brazilian GP: Hamilton pips Bottas to top second practice
Lewis Hamilton pipped Mercedes Formula 1 team-mate Valtteri Bottas to the fastest time in second practice for the Brazilian Grand Prix.
The four-time world champion clocked a 1m09.515s on the super-soft Pirelli tyres to finish 0.048 seconds clear of Bottas at Interlagos.
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo offered the greatest threat to Mercedes, finishing 0.228s adrift in third with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel a further tenth back.
Hamilton led the way early in the session with the Briton clocking a 1m09.742s on the soft tyres, a tenth clear of team-mate Bottas.
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was third, 0.433s off the pace with Kimi Raikkonen three tenths further back in fourth.
Raikkonen was the first driver to fit the super-softs for his qualifying simulation, but could only improve to third while team-mate Vettel’s attempt was still a tenth off Hamilton’s leading time on the softs.
Bottas moved to the top of the times with his first lap on the super-softs with Hamilton backing out of his first low-fuel run when he made an error in the middle sector.
Next time around, Hamilton had a cleaner lap on the same set of super-softs and promptly went quickest, his lap time just a quarter of a second quicker than his best on the softs.
Verstappen was fifth quickest, just over a tenth slower than team-mate Ricciardo, with Raikkonen sixth and Force India’s Esteban Ocon seventh.
Felipe Massa was eighth quickest on home soil, with Nico Hulkenberg and Fernando Alonso completing the top 10.
Alonso’s session was disrupted when he was recalled to the pits so Honda could investigate a problem it detected on the engine.
The Spaniard was able to get back out on track and do a low-fuel run before turning his attention to gathering long-run data for Sunday’s race.
His McLaren team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne, who spun out of the Senna S before continuing, was 13th quickest, two tenths slower.
Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson had a frustrating session, losing his car at the fast downhill left-hander at Pinheirinho, skidding across the run-off and tapping the barriers.
He recovered to the pits but took no further part in the session, ending up 19th quickest, a tenth slower than team-mate Pascal Wehrlein.
Antonio Giovinazzi borrowed Kevin Magnussen’s Haas for FP2 and was 20th and last.
|3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||0.228s||37|
|5||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||0.371s||38|
|7||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||0.791s||49|
|12||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1.180s||43|
|16||Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso/Renault||1.907s||44|
|17||Brendon Hartley||Toro Rosso/Renault||2.306s||54|
Brazilian GP practice: Lewis Hamilton fastest for Mercedes in FP1
Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton headed a comfortable Mercedes one-two in opening free practice for the Brazilian Grand Prix.
Hamilton’s FP1-topping effort beat the Interlagos track record, surpassing the 1m09.822s by Ferrari’s Rubens Barrichello in qualifying in 2004.
Hamilton, who clinched the 2017 drivers’ title two weeks ago in Mexico, headed team-mate Valtteri Bottas by a tenth in the opening 90-minute session.
Red Bull’s Mexican GP winner Max Verstappen was the only driver to set a laptime in the first 10 minutes – but his initial benchmark was quickly surpassed by the soft-shod Mercedes of Bottas, the Finn ending his first run on a 1m10.102s laptime.
This kept him top until he emerged for a second run on the same set of softs, and as Hamilton moved to within 0.072s of the benchmark, Bottas improved to 1m09.941s.
But the newly-crowned champion’s next effort, arriving at around the half-hour mark, then broke the circuit lap record – and he subsequently improved twice more to end up at 1m09.445s.
As the session passed its halfway point, Bottas ventured out on super-softs and briefly took the top spot from Hamilton, only for his team-mate to respond immediately.
Hamilton’s 1m09.202s would be enough to keep him top until the chequered flag, with the Mercedes duo focusing on super-soft long runs later in the session.
Kimi Raikkonen led Ferrari’s efforts in third, half a second behind Hamilton and just 0.006s clear of fourth-placed Verstappen.
Daniel Ricciardo edged Sebastian Vettel for fifth, the German’s FP1 run punctuated by an early spin at the Turn 9 left-hander.
Williams driver Felipe Massa, who recently announced his retirement from F1 at the end of the season, was seventh on home soil, and the last driver to lap within a second of Hamilton.
Stoffel Vandoorne, finally in possession of McLaren’s upgraded front wing, outpaced team-mate Fernando Alonso, with the pair – in eighth and 10th – split by Force India’s Esteban Ocon.
Lance Stroll was half a second off Williams team-mate Massa in 11th, with the Canadian’s former F3 rival George Russell – replacing Sergio Perez at Force India in FP1 for his grand prix weekend debut – taking 12th, six tenths behind Ocon.
Haas duo Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen followed in 13th and 14th, with Antonio Giovinazzi – who was originally slated to contest FP1 in the Dane’s Haas car – having his outing delayed until FP2.
Nico Hulkenberg, who annoyed Hamilton with a forceful move down the inside of the Juncao left-hander, trailed Renault team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr in 16th, while Sauber’s FP1 stand-in Charles Leclerc headed team regular Marcus Ericsson in 17th.
Toro Rosso was bottom of the standings in both laptime and mileage, managing little in the way of meaningful running.
While Pierre Gasly ended up 4.8s adrift with five laps to his name, team-mate Brendon Hartley, celebrating his 28th birthday, suffered yet another failure and had to leave his heavily-smoking STR12 at the side of the track without getting a single timed lap.
|4||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||0.548s||31|
|5||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||0.626s||38|
|9||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||1.252s||36|
|12||George Russell||Force India/Mercedes||1.845s||29|
|19||Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso/Renault||4.832s||5|
|20||Brendon Hartley||Toro Rosso/Renault||–||2|
Sebastian Vettel beats Max Verstappen to Mexican GP F1 pole position
Sebastian Vettel claimed a dramatic pole position for the Mexican Grand Prix, knocking Red Bull driver Max Verstappen off top spot at the end.
Verstappen was quickest on the first runs in Q3 with a 1m16.574s, but lapped three-tenths slower on his final attempt.
This allowed Ferrari driver Vettel to snatch pole with a lap of 1m16.488s, having been just over a quarter-of-a-second slower on the first runs.
Lewis Hamilton was third fastest for Mercedes after a moment in the Turn 12 right-hander cost him time in the final sector, meaning he had to rely on his first-run time.
This put him ahead of team-mate Valtteri Bottas, who posted a lap good enough for fourth having had to abandon his first run without setting a time.
This was because of a lockup at Turn 13 after passing the slow Verstappen, who is being investigated by stewards for impeding.
Kimi Raikkonen was fifth ahead of Esteban Ocon, with Daniel Ricciardo failing to improve on his final lap and ending up seventh.
Renault duo Nico Hulkenberg and Carlos Sainz Jr were eighth and ninth ahead of Force India’s Sergio Perez.
Williams team-mates Felipe Massa and Lance Stroll were the only drivers among the five eliminated in Q2 to post a time.
Massa ended up 11th, missing out on a place in Q3 thanks to lapping 0.231s slower than Perez.
Stroll was over a second behind his team-mate in 12th, with much of the time lost with a scruffy run through the stadium section late in the lap.
Brendon Hartley, on his second F1 appearance for Toro Rosso, reached Q2 for the first time but ended up 13th thanks to stopping with a loss of power exiting Turn 3 on his first flying lap.
With Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne carrying grid penalties of 35 and 20 places respectively, McLaren opted not to mount a serious assault on Q2 with both drivers completing a token run without attempting a flying lap – leaving them 14th and 15th.
Sauber duo Marcus Ericsson and Pascal Wehrlein were fastest of those eliminated in Q1 in 16th and 17th place respectively.
Both did three runs in Q1, but Wehrlein was bumped into the dropzone by Vandoorne late on, moments before Ericsson jumped ahead of him.
Wehrlein did not improve on his final lap but still ended up ahead of Haas duo Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean, who also both squeezed three runs into Q1.
Toro Rosso driver Pierre Gasly did not run in qualifying on his return to Formula 1 action after engine problems struck in final practice.
The 21-year-old already carries at least a 15-place grid penalty thanks to power unit component changes made on Friday, and completed only 12 practice laps on his first appearance at Mexico City.
|2||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m16.574s||0.086s|
|6||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||1m17.437s||0.949s|
|7||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m17.447s||0.959s|
|10||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m17.807s||1.319s|
|13||Brendon Hartley||Toro Rosso/Renault||–||–|
|20||Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso/Renault||–||–|
Mexican GP: Max Verstappen keeps Red Bull on top in practice three
Max Verstappen pipped Formula 1 championship leader Lewis Hamilton by a fraction of a second to set the pace in final practice for the Mexican Grand Prix.
Red Bull driver Verstappen clocked a 1m17.113s to finish just 0.075 seconds quicker than Mercedes rival Hamilton.
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel was third, ahead of Valtteri Bottas, with the top four separated by just 0.170s.
Hamilton set the early pace on the ultra-soft tyres at a cool and breezy Mexico City circuit before Bottas snuck ahead by a tenth, with a 1m17.963s.
Bottas than completed a series of fast laps, improving to a 1m17.537s to open up a four tenth gap over his team-mate before Hamilton reduced the deficit to three tenths.
The Red Bulls, running the super-softs, were best of the rest with Verstappen – who complained of struggling to get the front tyres to work – third and Ricciardo fourth.
When attention turned to qualifying-simulations, Bottas improved by a tenth of a second, but that was comfortably beaten by Vettel when the Ferrari bolted on a fresh set of ultra-softs.
Verstappen then snuck ahead on his low-fuel run by just 0.007s, having clocked the fastest first and second sectors.
Next time around, the Red Bull driver improved by a tenth of a second but there was more time to had after a big lock-up in the final sector.
Hamilton reported "power issues" on his first run, picking out Turn 7 as where he had the problem, and failing to improve on his earlier time.
He stayed out and improved by a fraction, but that was only good enough for sixth as Mercedes told him the issue had been spotted and was "just going to require a calibration change".
Third time around, the championship leader made big gains and slotted into second, just 0.075s adrift of Verstappen.
Ricciardo was fifth quickest, a quarter of a second off the pace, with Kimi Raikkonen sixth, three tenths slower than Ferrari team-mate Vettel.
Sergio Perez was best of the rest on home soil in seventh, nine tenths off the pace and one tenth clear of Force India team-mate Esteban Ocon.
Renault’s Carlos Sainz Jr and Nico Hulkenberg completed the top 10.
Brendon Hartley continued to impress with the 11th quickest time but there was frustration for Toro Rosso team-mate Pierre Gasly, who failed to set a time.
Gasly, who stepped aside for Sean Gelael in first practice and completed just 10 laps on Friday afternoon, stopped in the stadium session reporting engine issues early on.
The team gave him a complex set of instructions for how to restart the car, but when that failed, it signalled the end of his session.
McLaren’s Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne, who will take 20 and 35-place grid penalties respectively for engine component changes, were 16th and 19th respectively.
|1||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m17.113s||–||20|
|5||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m17.361s||0.248s||10|
|7||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m18.040s||0.927s||20|
|8||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||1m18.165s||1.052s||18|
|11||Brendon Hartley||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m18.602s||1.489s||23|
|20||Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso/Renault||–|