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GP Week : Issue 232
QUALIFYING FORMULA 1 GRAN PREMIO DE MÉXICO 2015 71 LAPS ROUND 17/19 << Last Race – United States Last Weekend 1 Next Race – Brazil >> Two Weeks’ Time FORMULA 1 GRAN PREMIO DE MÉXICO 2015 QUALIFYING CLASSIFICATION 1 – Mercedes AMG set an all-time record for the most front row lockouts in a single season, with their 13th of the 2015 campaign, surpassing the previous record that they shared (2014) with the Mclaren-Honda team of 1988. For the 4th race in a row, Nico Rosberg is ahead of Lewis Hamilton on the grid, but Hamilton has won the other 3. Rosberg’s 20th career pole further extends his record for the most poles without ever winning the championship, and ties the career total of another son of a world champion, Damon Hill. 2 – For the 6th time this season – although not always in the same order – Rosberg, Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel make up the top-3 on the grid. Only 3 of Vettel’s 42 wins have come from lower than the front row, but 1 of them was the 2015 Hungarian GP. Daniil Kvyat has qualified a career-best-tying 4th on the grid at 3 of the last 5 Grands Prix in a row. In doing so he has outqualified Ricciardo for the first time in 5 races, but he did so by just 0.001s. 3 – Sixth-placed Valtteri Bottas had an uneventful time but has now outqualified Felipe Massa 9-8 this season. For Massa it was a landmark session as in Q1 he broke the speed trap at 364.3km/h (226.4mph), the fastest trap speed of the turbo hybrid V6 era, and approaching the all-time fastest F1 trap speed set by Kimi Raikkonen’s 3.0-litre Mclaren-Mercedes V10 at the 2005 Italian GP at 370.1km/h (229.97mph). In the previous turbo era in 1987, Olivetti measured Ayrton Senna’s Lotus-Honda at the end of the main straight in Mexico at 339.2km/h (210.8mph) in qualifying. 4 – Max Verstappen qualified 8th, the same position as in Austin, in his attempts to emulate Michael Schumacher who was on the podium for the first time in his career in Mexico City in 1992, having finished 4th in the previous race in South Africa – Verstappen was 4th last weekend in Austin. Both Force Indias reached Q3 for the 3rd race running, with Sergio Perez outqualifying Nico Hulkenberg at home. 5 – Carlos Sainz missed Q3 for the 6th consecutive race, while Romain Grosjean failed to make it for the 2nd race in a row, after a streak of 6 consecutive races before that. Pastor Maldonado, in car #13, qualifies 13th on the grid on the only circuit on which a driver previously used #13 in F1 before Maldonado (Moises Solana in 1963). It was also the lowest-ever winning grid position here (Alain Prost in 1990). 6 – Neither Mclaren got out of Q1 for the 7th time in 17 races this year, as the team endures its longest-ever winless streak (54 races). Jenson Button’s 70-place grid penalty means that if the grid were long enough to accommodate it (there are 16 metres between rows), he would be 0.560km (0.348 mile) behind the last row, 13% of the entire lap length. Alex Rossi outqualified Will Stevens for the 2nd race in a row to claim his best starting position so far, while Kimi Raikkonen failed to reach Q3 for the 4th time in 2015. 7 – Raceday marks the 53rd anniversary of the death of Ricardo Rodriguez at Peraltada, after whom the track is named. Not that Lotus was able to use it. Though competitive in the first sector it struggled around the rest of the lap. Pastor Maldonado was marginally faster than Bottas through the stadium section while Grosjean was only faster than the two Manors. Of them, Alexander Rossi clearly found something in the first chicane as, in the same car, he lopped two tenths off Will Stevens' time and held a tenth advantage in both sectors two and three. From a man in just his fourth race, and at a new circuit where Stevens holds no advantage beyond seat time, it painted a bleak picture for the Englishman. Sauber too clearly struggled for downforce and while they were substantially faster than the Manors through the middle sector they were the next slowest pair through the middle part of the lap. Ferrari's limiting factor appeared to be power, Vettel needing a slipstream to match the Mercedes down the front straight but other wise more than capable around the rest of the lap. Starting towards the front the German needed clean air and a solid opening lap or two in order to break clear fo the DRS zone if was to have any chance of winning. 22 GPWEEK.com // 22 GPWEEK.com // F1 >>> MEXICO PARTNERS: