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Verstappen relishing Mercedes battle after qualifying triumph

Verstappen relishing Mercedes battle after qualifying triumph

Verstappen relishing Mercedes battle after qualifying triumph

Verstappen relishing Mercedes battle after qualifying triumph

Max Verstappen is relishing the prospect of a "fun" battle with George Russell and Lewis Hamilton after a tense qualifying session at the Mexico City Grand Prix.

The Dutchman secured his seventh pole position of the season by 0.304secs from Russell after just 0.014s had split the top four in Q2.

The gap to second-placed Russell was skewed by the Briton's mistake on his final flying lap.

After Verstappen had lacked pace to Mercedes in the three practice sessions, he paid tribute to work between FP3 and qualifying for his last-minute gains.

"It was a good qualifying," said Verstappen. "It was a close one but I think after FP3 we made a few adjustments on the car, got into a better rhythm and to be on pole here is of course, amazing.

"I know it is a very long run down to turn one, so we do need a good start. But anyway, I think we have a quick car and that is what is most important.

"I think it will be close in the race. Normally, they have very good race pace as well, so it depends on what you can do with the strategy, but we will look into that tonight."

Verstappen has been the support act at Red Bull this weekend as far as the fans in the grandstands are concerned, with home hero Sergio Perez the main attraction.

After the Mexican qualified fourth, Verstappen said of his team-mate: "Checo will be there tomorrow. I'm sure we have a quick race car so I hope it will be quite a fun race with a lot of action.

"It's amazing [driving here]. It's incredible the passion of all the fans over here [and] also in the stadium."

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