Lewis Hamilton has conceded to being "shocked" by the pace shown by Mercedes en route to a front-row lockout for the Mexico City Grand Prix.
Red Bull and Max Verstappen had dominated proceedings for the majority of the weekend yet by the end of Q3, the championship leader was three-tenths of a second adrift of polesitter Valtteri Bottas, with Hamilton sitting second.
The result was the polar opposite to the qualifying scenario in Austin two weeks ago when Verstappen stole pole position from a Mercedes team expected to triumph on Saturday.
"Valtteri did an amazing job today," hailed Hamilton.
"We are both, and the team, surprised and shocked to be on the front row because they have been quicker than us all weekend.
"No matter what we did to improve the car, we couldn't close the gap much so it is a real shock.
"I don't really have an answer for it but I am grateful, of course, to be up there with Valtteri to get a one-two."
Further explaining his amazement, Hamilton revealed changes he had made ahead of qualifying had sent his W12 in the wrong direction.
"I was quite happy with the car in P3 and we just made some small tweaks and in qualifying, it was really not nice to drive," he explained.
"That is frustrating because you work so hard. Maybe I need to spend less time engineering because I seemed to make it worse.
"But I really struggled out there and all of a sudden the car had a lot of lock-ups. I had to make a lot of changes on my steering wheel. A weird one."
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