Nico Rosberg will start the Mexican Grand Prix on pole position ahead of his team-mate Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.

Rosberg registered a 1:19.690 for his first run in Q3 while Hamilton was able to narrowly beat his team-mates time by under a tenth of a second. Hamilton occupied provisional pole very briefly as Rosberg responded to the challenge put forth by this year’s world champion, clearing the timesheets by just under two-tenths of a second.

Most of the top ten was decided mid-way through the Q3 session as home grown hero Sergio Perez was the only driver able to improve on his time, jumping ahead of his team-mate Nico Hulkenberg for ninth position.

Daniil Kvyat will start the race in fourth position after out-qualifying fellow Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo by just 0.001 seconds. The Williams pair of Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa were next on the grid ahead of Toro Rosso’s Max Verstappen.

Both Massa and Verstappen posted late laps in Q2 to promote themselves into the top ten at the cost of Carlos Sainz and Romain Grosjean, the gap between 10th and 11th position being only 0.007 seconds.

Kimi Raikkonen was the biggest name to drop out in Q2 after he experienced a rear brake issue causing him to spin at Turn One which ended his session prematurely. The Finn will line up 20th on the grid for tomorrow’s race after incurring a five-place grid penalty following the breakdown he suffered in FP3.

McLaren’s Jenson Button failed to take part in the qualifying session due to further engine issues from the final practice session. Fernando Alonso narrowly managed to qualify ahead of Sauber’s Felipe Nasr although failed to make it out of Q1. Nasr failed to get a clean lap together as his team-mate Marcus Ericsson’s lap in Q1 was good enough to scrape into the top 10.

The Marussia pair of Alexander Rossi and Will Stevens were the other two drivers eliminated in the Q1 session.

Image via Mercedes AMG F1 Petronas 

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Josh Kruse

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