Firstly, before looking back at qualifying can I mention Sir Frank Williams who is in hospital recovering from pneumonia. Hopefully he’ll make a full recovery.
Onto the Mexican Grand Prix and another good day for Lewis Hamilton. He’ll be starting on pole on Sunday but right behind him will be championship leader Nico Rosberg. That better not happen for the British driver in the final three races of the season or his title will be lost.
At times, it wasn’t exactly the performance of a future world champion In qualifying for Rosberg. He left it right to the end to clinch second place behind his Mercedes team mate and finish ahead of Max Verstappen who will start the race in third place on the grid. Throughout the qualifying session, Red Bull were ahead of Rosberg but the last lap was the crucial one for the German. He finished 0.245 seconds behind Hamilton but squeezed past Verstappen by just 0.096 seconds.
Friday had seen some good performances from Ferrari with Sebastian Vettel fastest in second practice. That didn’t lead to a major breakthrough in qualifying though. Vettel was faster than Rosberg at one stage but in the end, could only manage seventh on the grid with fellow Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen in sixth.
Fernando Alonso finished 11th, two places ahead of Jenson Button who hasn’t been enjoying the weekend so far and was 0.391 seconds behind his team mate.
Lewis Hamilton seems to be enjoying the track a lot more this year. He told reporters: “The track has got a lot better, there is more grip than last year and it feels more like a race track.” Championship leader Nico Rosberg said he was “relatively pleased” with getting second place on the grid believing that gives him a chance to win the race. He hasn’t been on top form this weekend though and says he’s had problems with tyre temperature due to the cold weather.
It’s looking good for a Hamilton win this weekend. Rosberg has been struggling for pace so far and has a fair amount to make up on his team mate. Will he really care though knowing that a couple of seconds and a third behind Lewis will still see him win his first title. Mercedes will start the race on the soft tyre, that’s more durable than the super-soft one that Red Bull will start on.
It should be another fascinating race again tomorrow. The start will again be crucial, let’s just hope there are no mechanical problems that end up deciding who wins the world title. I’ll be back with another blog soon, till then enjoy your racing.