• Lewis to Start From P3 in Mexico

A difficult Saturday for Mercedes in Mexico

- Lewis will start the 2019 Mexican Grand Prix from P3 on the grid 

- Valtteri qualified in P6 but crashed at the final corner on his second run in Q3

- Both drivers set their fastest times in Q2 on the Medium tyre and will start the race on that compound

Lewis Hamilton

"We knew coming to Mexico that this track would be difficult for us. I gave it everything today and I think I managed to extract the maximum from the car, but it simply wasn’t enough for pole. I think third place was maybe possible, but not more. P4 still puts us in a good fighting position for Sunday and I hope I get a good start. This race is always a hard one for us and I don’t anticipate it to be easy tomorrow. Maybe we’ll do the rain dance tonight for a wet track which could spice things up a little bit. But it’s going to be a real hard challenge, the Red Bulls were fastest in the long runs, so it will be very hard to keep up with them. There won’t be a huge amount of strategic variation, but it will be interesting to see whose tyres last long – that’ll be the name of the game. We’ll try to hold on to the top players, the Red Bulls and Ferraris, and I’m looking forward to that fight."

Valtteri Bottas

"That was obviously not an ideal end to a day that was otherwise going okay. The car felt better today, we made some progress with the set-up. I was happier with the stability of the car today and could push it harder. Qualifying was pretty straightforward, we set the fastest time in Q2 on the Mediums as we planned and the performance on those tyres seemed good. I knew that I had to risk it in the last run of Q3 to gain positions, so I tried to squeeze everything out of the car. The lap was good until the last corner where I went a bit wide on the exit on the dusty part of the track and that’s where I lost it and hit the wall. I’m all okay, but I’ve unfortunately given the boys in the garage some extra work to do tonight. Hopefully we can avoid taking any penalties for tomorrow. It’s annoying because looking at the times, I think I had a chance at qualifying third. But it’s a new day tomorrow and it’ll be a very different story where tyre management will be crucial. Let’s see what tomorrow brings, but we will for sure give it everything."

Toto Wolff

"We always knew that this track would be difficult for us and today confirmed our expectations. We were not in the fight for pole and while we might have improved in the second run of Q3, I don’t think we had a shot at a front row place. Both Lewis and Valtteri were on decent laps at the end of Q3 before Valtteri lost it on the exit of the last corner and crashed. Thankfully he’s ok, but unfortunately his car took a bit of a beating. We’re assessing the damage at the moment and hope that we don’t have to change any parts that would result in a grid penalty. Lewis will start from P4 which is not ideal, but tomorrow will be all about tyre life, so this might create some opportunity for us. We know we are usually stronger on Sunday, so we look forward to the challenge."

Andrew Shovlin

"Being half a second off pole is not great but nor is it something we can easily explain. There’s no particular corner that we are struggling with, it just looks like our tyres are not quite ready at the start of the lap and that they are done by the final sector. There’s almost nothing on the straights to Red Bull so we need to be looking at how we are using the tyres, how the chassis is working to understand where we can improve. Valtteri was also suffering with the tyres dropping in the last few corners of the final run, and just ran onto the kerb which dragged him into the wall. It looked pretty bad at first but at least he’s ok and we’re hoping we can get the car back together without taking penalties. We’d made quite a few changes overnight to improve our race pace and haven’t had a chance to check those so tomorrow will be a journey of discovery. However, the tyre degradation here will open up some options on strategy so we’re not ready to give up hope just yet. We’ve shown good race pace at almost every track so we are optimistic we can get ourselves back into the mix tomorrow."