RACE DEBRIEF

    It was a tight battle for pole in Mexico City, but in the end Max Verstappen grabbed the P1 starting slot after nailing his final flying lap. George Russell had to settle for second after losing a lap time to track limits, with Lewis Hamilton third and home favourite Sergio Perez fourth. It was a great session for Mercedes despite Russell feeling he’d left time out there – but who else excelled? Here are the best facts and stats from qualifying…

    • Max Verstappen grabbed his sixth pole position of the year, to be the 11th different pole-sitter in 11 Mexican Grands Prix.

    • The pole-sitter here hasn’t finished on the podium since 2016.

    • George Russell was second, only the second time this year he’s qualified on the front row following his pole in Hungary, although he was promoted to a P2 start at Monza by grid penalties.

    READ MORE: Verstappen fends off Mercedes pair for maiden Mexico City pole

    • Russell out-qualifies Lewis Hamilton for the first time since the summer break, by just 0.005s.

    • This is the first time this year that Mercedes have both cars in the top three.

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    Russell had to settle for P2 in Mexico
    • Hamilton starts third, the position from which the winner has started in the last two races at this track.

    • Hamilton has yet to start on the front row this year, but he does have three top-three starts in the last four races.

    • Sergio Perez starts fourth, the same position as last year.

    • Carlos Sainz is fifth, his highest ever start in Mexico City – but his worst Q3 performance since Paul Ricard eight races ago.

    • Valtteri Bottas was sixth, the best Q3 performance for Alfa Romeo since Miami nearly six months ago.

    READ MORE: Wolff satisfied with ‘rigourous’ Cost Cap process, as Shovlin calls Horner’s ‘draconian’ penalty claim ‘an exaggeration’

    • Charles Leclerc starts seventh, the first time he’s been outside the top three since Canada, 11 races ago.

    • Lando Norris grabbed eighth, to match his best ever start at this track from 2019.

    • Fernando Alonso was P9, having reached Q3 here for the first time in his career.

    • The Spaniard has taken the season qualifying head to head against his team mate though, as he now leads 12-8.

    • Esteban Ocon was P10, for only his second career top 10 start at this track.

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    Alonso has clinched the season head to head against Ocon after beating him in Q3
    • In Q2, 0.014s covered the top four and 0.063s covered the top five.

    • Daniel Ricciardo missed Q3 by just 0.053s.

    • Zhou Guanyu grabbed P12, for his best Q2 performance since Hungary.

    • Yuki Tsunoda out-qualified Pierre Gasly for the eighth time this year.

    • Kevin Magnussen got a Haas into Q2 in Mexico for the first time in their history.

    • Mick Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel set the exact same time in Q1.

    • Vettel suffered his fifth Q1 elimination in the last eight races, having never been lower than ninth in Mexico before.

    • Lance Stroll was out in Q1 in Mexico for the fourth consecutive visit – this time suffering the fate on his 24th birthday.

    • Alex Albon out-qualified Nicholas Latifi for the 17th time this year.