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Verstappen beats Mercedes duo in close-fought Mexican GP qualifying

Max Verstappen claimed the Mexican GP Pole Position ahead of Mercedes drivers George Russell and Lewis Hamilton.

Max Verstappen took his seventh Pole Position of the season to deny Mercedes qualifying honours in Mexico City. After an incredibly even-matched Q2, the Red Bull driver's lap time of 1:17.775 in the final part of qualifying was enough to claim P1 ahead of George Russell, who finished three tenths of a second off Pole after completing an untidy final lap. Hamilton, who had his opening lap time deleted for marginally cutting Turn 3, took third, just 0.005s off his teammate. Home favourite Sergio Perez was another half-tenth behind the Mercedes pair, and was unable to match his teammate's pace in front of an expectant home crowd. The Ferrari duo of Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc were unable to compete with the pace of Mercedes and Red Bull, with the pair finishing the session in fifth and seventh, separated by Alfa Romeo's Valtteri Bottas. Lando Norris took P8 for McLaren, ahead of the Alpine duo of Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon.

Ricciardo misses out on Q3

McLaren's Daniel Ricciardo missed the Q2 cut by half-a-tenth of a second behind Alonso, and he qualified in P11 ahead of Alfa Romeo's Guanyu Zhou. Yuki Tsunoda secured an uncommon qualifying victory over his AlphaTauri teammate Pierre Gasly, whilst Haas' Kevin Magnussen finished the session in P15. The Dane will start the race from the back row of the grid, having picked up a five-place grid penalty for a power unit component change earlier in the weekend.

Aston Martin, Williams in Q1 exit

Mick Schumacher was the driver to suffer the heartbreak of being the fastest of the eliminated drivers, with the Haas driver pipped to P15 by teammate Kevin Magnussen, who was just over one tenth clear of the drop zone. Going against their recent run of form, the two Aston Martins were also knocked out in Q1, with Sebastian Vettel finishing P17 - and setting the exact same time as Schumacher - ahead of Stroll in P18. The result will mean that Stroll also starts the race from the back row of the grid, after his three-place grid penalty is applied for his US Grand Prix collision with Alonso. The Williams duo of Alex Albon and Nicholas Latifi finished a dismal session for the team at the bottom of the timing sheets and several tenths away from the Q3 cut-off, with Albon having an off-track moment through the fast sector two.

RESULTS 2024 F1 Hungarian Grand Prix - Free Practice 2