Rosberg powers to Mexican GP pole
Nico Rosberg edged newly crowned world champion Lewis Hamilton to pole position for the Mexican Grand Prix.
The Mercedes driver claimed his fourth consecutive pole with an impressive display throughout qualifying at the Hermanos Rodriguez circuit.
Rosberg set the pace in Q3 on his first run before lowering his time to a 1:19.480s, which proved to be 0.188s quicker than Hamilton.
Hamilton briefly moved to the top of the times midway through the final segment of qualifying before he was eclipsed by Rosberg.
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel emerged as the best of the rest in third just 0.3s adrift of the pole-sitter.
Red Bull converted its strong practice speed into qualifying with Daniil Kvyat and Daniel Ricciardo coming through to secure fourth and fifth respectively.
The Williams pair of Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa occupied sixth and seventh ahead of the Toro Rosso of Max Verstappen.
Sergio Perez pleased his home crowd with a solid performance to claim ninth while his Force India team-mate Nico Hulkenberg completed the top 10.
Carlos Sainz narrowly missed out on Q3 in 11th with the Toro Rosso driver joined by the Lotus’ of Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado, and the Sauber of Marcus Ericsson.
Meanwhile, Kimi Raikkonen suffered a brake issue in Q2 that saw his Ferrari come to a halt on the circuit.
The Finn carried a five place grid penalty into the session following a gearbox change after final practice, which will see him start the race from 18th position.
After showing encouraging pace in practice, McLaren struggled in qualifying with Fernando Alonso the first of the runners to fail to progress to Q2.
The Spaniard will however start from 19th after incurring a 15 place grid penalty for an engine and gearbox change.
To make matters worse his team-mate Jenson Button was forced to sit out qualifying due to an engine problem.
The Brit will start from the back of the grid after a third power unit change of the weekend.
Sauber’s Felipe Nasr and the Manors of Alexander Rossi and Will Stevens were eliminated in Q1.
Result: Formula 1 Mexican Grand Prix Qualifying
|4||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1:20.398s||+0.918s|
|5||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1:20.399s||+0.919s|
|8||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||1:20.710s||+1.230s|
|9||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1:20.716s||+1.236s|
|10||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1:20.788s||+1.308s|
|11||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1:20.942s||+1.462s Q2|
|12||Romain Grosjean||Lotus/Mercedes||1:21.038s||+1.558s Q2|
|13||Pastor Maldonado||Lotus/Mercedes||1:21.261s||+1.781s Q2|
|14||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber/Ferrari||1:21.544s||+2.064s Q2|
|15||Felipe Nasr||Sauber/Ferrari||1:21.788s||+2.308s Q1|
|16||Alexander Rossi||Marussia/Ferrari||1:24.136s||+4.656s Q1|
|17||Will Stevens||Marussia/Ferrari||1:24.386s||+4.906s Q1|
|18||Kimi Raikkonen||Ferrari||1:22.494s||+3.014s Q2 Gearbox Penalty|
|19||Fernando Alonso||McLaren/Honda||1m21.779s||+2.299s Q1 Engine Penalties|
|20||Jenson Button||McLaren/Honda||–||Engine Penalties|