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GP Week : Issue 232
PoS driver teaM Q1 Q2 Q3 LaPS 1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:20.436 1:20.053 1:19.480 23 2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:20.808 1:19.829 1:19.668 22 3 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:20.503 1:20.045 1:19.850 18 4 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull 1:20.826 1:20.490 1:20.398 21 5 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:21.166 1:20.783 1:20.399 23 6 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:20.817 1:20.458 1:20.448 26 7 Felipe Massa Williams 1:21.379 1:20.642 1:20.567 26 8 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso 1:20.995 1:20.894 1:20.710 28 9 Sergio Perez Force India 1:20.966 1:20.669 1:20.716 21 10 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:21.315 1:20.935 1:20.788 20 11 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso 1:20.960 1:20.942 20 12 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:21.577 1:21.038 18 13 Pastor Maldonado Lotus 1:21.520 1:21.038 19 14 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1:21.299 1:21.544 19 15 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:21.422 1:22.494 13 16 Fernando Alonso McLaren 1:21.779 10 17 Felipe Nasr Sauber 1:21.788 12 18 Alexander Rossi Manor 1:24.136 10 19 Will Stevens Manor 1:24.386 9 Jenson Button McLaren No Time 3 Q1 107% Time 1:26.067 formula 1 round 17 meXican gp – Qualifying QUALIFYING A powerful engine and a well handling car were key to success in qualifying for the Mexican Grand Prix. The long front straight called for an abundance of grunt but the twisty middle sector required a well sorted chassis. Traction was then needed in the final sector, making the Mexico City circuit a good indicator of relative car performance. Unsurprisingly it was the Mercedes powered cars which dominated the first sector. Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton were fastest, owing not only to their powerful engine but their ability to get off the tricky final turn. Through the first split Rosberg was two tenths better than even the two Williams', with whom Sebastian Vettel was on par with. The majority of the field however was some half a second slower through the first split, from Sergio Perez at 27.811 as the sixth fastest man around the first third of the lap, barely a second covered the following ten cars. Only the McLarens and Manors, rather predictably, fell outside that marker. The twisty middle sector painted a rather different picture. Though Rosberg and Hamilton were still fastest their advantage was all but eroded while the two Red Bull's showed their car may not be powerful but it at least handles well. The same must be said of the Toro Rosso, with Carlos Sainz just a tenth off Kvyat's pace in the middle sector. The Williams' though struggled, dropping three tenths to the Mercedes showing clearly just where the Grove based team was struggling. But it didn't give up much, and on balance Valtteri Bottas was still a tenth faster than Daniil Kvyat up to the two third mark. That however disappeared in the final sector with the Williams only average through the stadium and onto the front straight to complete the lap. They dropped four tenths to Hamilton, who was fastest through the sector with a time more or less matched by Vettel. Max Verstappen and the two Force Indias were faster around the final third suggesting while the Williams has the powerful Mercedes engine and reasonable aerodynamics, it's mechanical grip was lacking - a point which became abundantly clear in Monaco. It was the opposite story for Force India, which shares the same engine but was found wanting in the twisty middle sector. McLaren's claim that the chassis is one of the best on the grid seems laughable when one considers it was beaten by Toro Rosso through the middle sector, where handling was far more important than power. Fernando Alonso was two tenths off Verstappen and a whopping seven tenths off the leading Mercedes of Rosberg. Chassis wise it was on par with the Lotus in Mexico but without the benefit of Mercedes power. 21 GPWEEK.com // 21 GPWEEK.com // F1 >>> MEXICO PARTNERS: rain, rain go away...