Lewis and Valtteri line up third and fifth respectively for the Mexican Grand Prix
- After the two dry practice sessions on Friday, the drivers and teams had to cope with wet conditions on Saturday morning.
- Consequently, there weren’t many cars out on the track at the beginning of the third free practice, because the teams were reluctant to take any unnecessary risks.
- Lewis ended the session in second place with a time of 1:16:38 after nine laps on the HyperSoft tyres.
- Valtteri completed five laps of the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez. He set his personal fastest time of 1:18:39 minutes on the HyperSoft tyres. Shortly before the end of the session, he had to park his W09 due to a hydraulic problem.
- Valtteri and Lewis finished Q1 occupying the two front slots. In Q2, Lewis was second fastest with Valtteri in fifth.
- In Q3 Lewis booked P3 on the grid with his second run. His time of 1:14.894 minutes set on HyperSoft tyres was just 0.135 seconds behind that of pole-sitter Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull).
- Valtteri finished Q3 in fifth with a time of 1:15.160 minutes on the HyperSoft tyres.
- Both Lewis and Valtteri will start Sunday’s Mexican Grand Prix on UltraSoft tyres.
What Did We Learn?
"This team has set some high standards in recent seasons, so it's unusual to feel pretty jubilant with P3 and P5 in qualifying," said Technical Director James Allison.
"But after our troubles yesterday and Valtteri's issue in FP3, this result represents an excellent recovery. Overnight, we did good work on the engine side to post a competitive level of power in the thin air, while the chassis engineering team recovered the slow corner competitiveness that was missing yesterday."
"We're under no illusions that it will be anything other than a tough race tomorrow, with Red Bull enjoying a very strong weekend and Ferrari neck and neck on outright pace."
"The top three teams are all starting on the preferred UltraSoft tyre and we have every intention of giving it our best shot to win."
What We’re Saying
"A fantastic qualifying session with the top three teams covered by two tenths of a second - and congratulations to Daniel, who has had a tough time in recent races," said Toto.
"As a team, we can be happy with how we recovered - we were nowhere on Friday but in the ballpark today."
"Starting from the second row with Lewis may not be the worst thing tomorrow with the long straight, certainly he will have opportunities on the way to Turn One."
"From the constructors' perspective, it's good to have each of our cars ahead of a Ferrari on the grid; but they are once again so fast on the straights that keeping them behind won't be easy."
"It's certainly going to be a very exciting run to the first corner..."
"I want to say thank you to everyone at the factory and the team here at the race track, everyone has worked really hard to get the car to where it was today," said Lewis.
"Red Bull were really fast in the middle sector, the Renault engine seems to be working well in the high altitude and so does their high-downforce package."
"I think they were probably in a league of their own today, so I'm happy to be as close as I am. Our race pace was not bad on Friday, but again Red Bull seemed to have the upper hand."
"We were able to improve quite a bit since yesterday, so I'm hoping that we will be able to fight them and maybe gain some ground at the start."
"Mexico is a great place to be and a great place to race, so I'm looking forward to tomorrow. Game on!"
"The entire team did a really good job last night and today", said Valtteri.
"It didn't look great for us yesterday, but the car felt a lot better today; we were able to recover a lot of our performance."
"I also want to say thank you to our mechanics, they did an amazing job. In less than one and a half hours, they managed to take the car apart and change the engine - and the car worked well afterwards."
"Qualifying was pretty straightforward after the car was fixed, but I didn't get a perfect lap together in Q3. It never felt as good as it did in the previous qualifying runs, but at least we're a lot closer to the front than we were on Friday."
"The first row was probably out of reach for us today, but at least our times were very close to those of Ferrari."
"There's a long straight here at the start, so not starting from the front might actually be an advantage if we manage to get a tow from the cars in front of us. The race tomorrow should be good fun."