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Ferrari fly as Ricciardo romps towards front in Mexican Grand Prix qualifying

Ferrari fly as Ricciardo romps towards front in Mexican Grand Prix qualifying

F1 News

Ferrari fly as Ricciardo romps towards front in Mexican Grand Prix qualifying

Ferrari fly as Ricciardo romps towards front in Mexican Grand Prix qualifying

Ferrari's Charles Leclerc claimed his fourth pole position of the season during qualifying for the Mexican Grand Prix, beating his team-mate Carlos Sainz and both Red Bulls to claim top spot.

Despite not showing too much pace during the three practice sessions this weekend, and looking as though he might be in a battle with Williams' Alex Albon and McLarens, Leclerc once again showed off his brilliant one-lap pace to take top spot with Sainz completing the Ferrari front row lockout.

Verstappen could only manage third, whilst Daniel Ricciardo produced a stunning performance to put his AlphaTauri car into fourth.

Max Verstappen topped all three practice sessions at the Mexican Grand Prix
Lando Norris fell in the first part of qualifying, meaning only penalties will stop him from starting plum last for the Mexican Grand Prix

Norris falls in Q1

After scoring four consecutive podiums, Lando Norris' spirits would have been sky high heading into this weekend, and McLaren seemed to prove on Friday that their car was better than expected around the circuit.

However, an indifferent qualifying session which saw some uncharacteristic mistakes by the young Brit, coupled with a late spin from Fernando Alonso which ruined his final lap, saw Norris crash out in Q1.

His team-mate Oscar Piastri did manage to make it into the final part of qualifying, but couldn't challenge the Ferraris or Red Bulls, and qualified down in seventh.

Surprise Q3 entrants

Alex Albon's Q2 elimination presented an opportunity for others during qualifying at the Mexican Grand Prix

Having had great pace all weekend, and putting his Williams car into second place in both FP1 and FP3, it was a bit a shock to see Alex Albon out of Q2, and the Thai driver had put in a brilliant lap to scrape through to the next session, only for it to be deleted for a track limits infringement.

This presented a great chance for others, however, and Daniel Ricciardo posted the fourth quickest time in Q2, and put his AlphaTauri car into a great position to pick up some points in tomorrow's race, by qualifying all the way up in fourth.

Valtteri Bottas showed again why Alfa Romeo may be hot on the heels of Williams for seventh place in the constructors' championship, as both he and team-mate Zhou Guanyu made it through to Q3.

Mercedes misery

Lewis Hamilton could only manage sixth

It was a dismal day for Mercedes, however, with Lewis Hamilton and George Russell only managing to qualify sixth and eighth respectively.

Hamilton had topped Q2 timesheets, ahead of Verstappen, but couldn't convert that into a front row finish in Q3.

They will be hoping that they can show as good race pace as they managed last time out in Austin, if they are to challenge for a podium position during Sunday's race.

Potential penalties on the way

Both Max Verstappen and George Russell could be in trouble, for potentially breaking the rules during qualifying at the Mexican Grand Prix

Verstappen and Mercedes' Russell find themselves under investigation for stopping at the end of the pitlane, after trying to get a gap in all of the traffic at the end of Q1.

They're not the only drivers who could be getting a penalty.

Hamilton is under investigation for failing to slow down under yellow flag conditions following Alonso's spin in Q1, whilst Russell, Zhou and Norris are all under investigation for failing to complete a lap under the steward's enforced delta time.

F1 Qualifying Results: Mexican Grand Prix 2023

1. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) 1:17.166

2. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari): +0.067

3. Max Verstappen (Red Bull): +0.097

4. Daniel Ricciardo (AlphaTauri): +0.216

5. Sergio Perez (Red Bull): +0.257

6. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes): +0.288

7. Oscar Piastri (McLaren): +0.457

8. George Russell (Mercedes): +0.508

9. Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo): +0.866

10. Zhou Guanyu (Alfa Romeo): +0.884

Eliminated from Q2

11. Pierre Gasly (Alpine)

12. Nico Hulkenberg (Haas)

13. Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin)

14. Alex Albon (Williams)

15. Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri)

Eliminated from Q1

16. Esteban Ocon (Alpine)

17. Kevin Magnussen (Haas)

18. Lance Stroll (Aston Martin)

19. Lando Norris (McLaren)

20. Logan Sargeant (Williams)

READ MORE: F1 Qualifying Results: Mexican Grand Prix 2023 times - Red Bull suffer HUGE collapse in form

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