The Ferraris Come Alive in Mexico, Leclerc Bounces Back to Take Pole

October 28, 2023Ramon Jones
Formula 1

Charles Leclerc bounces back in qualifying by taking pole position ahead of teammate Carlos Sainz and 2023 champion Max Verstappen. The feat comes at a perfect time after Leclerc was disqualified from the last race in the United States. Ferrari locked out the front row in a bit surprising fashion. Leclerc edged out his teammate by 0.067 seconds in Q3. Verstappen dominated the three practice session all weekend and it would have been safe to infer he’d claim another pole this weekend. Ferrari had other plans. Verstappen finished P3 just under 1 tenth behind Carlos Sainz.

Charles Leclerc stated the following to, “To be honest I did not expect to be on pole position today, I thought we were lacking in FP3. We’ve had pretty good pace all weekend, but I’m not sure if it will be enough to challenge for the win. First place here I’m not sure is the best starting place.”

Norris Knocked out in Q1

In a very uncharacteristic situation, Lando Norris failed to make it out of Q1. There appeared to be an incident where Norris ran over the high curbing in the middle sector of the track and his McLaren may have suffered some floor damage. Norris was verbally unhappy on the team radio after he was brought in to the pits. He was forced to abort his flying lap and retire the car from the session. In a post session interview with ESPN Norris made it clear that he had no idea why he was called in. We are waiting for confirmation from McLaren on the issue.

Sergio Perez Beats Hamilton to Claim P5

As the heated battle for second place continues. Sergio Perez found the pace in his home country qualifying session to stay ahead of Hamilton for the start. Perez has one goal this weekend and that is to finished ahead of Hamilton. Every race that goes by with Perez finishing ahead of Hamilton will pad his cushion as we head into the final stretch to close out the F1 season. The margin between the two was nearly 3 one hundredths of a second. A margin that is too close for comfort for Perez. Tomorrow’s Grand Prix is the only points scoring opportunity this weekend without a sprint race. Championship points are on the line tomorrow.

There were a number of penalties handed out during the earlier practice sessions and during qualifying. The finalized starting grid will include the following driver order.

Starting Grid

116Charles LeclercFERRARI1:18.4011:17.9011:17.16617
255Carlos SainzFERRARI1:18.7551:18.3821:17.23317
31Max VerstappenRED BULL RACING HONDA RBPT1:18.0991:17.6251:17.26315
43Daniel RicciardoALPHATAURI HONDA RBPT1:18.3411:17.7061:17.38215
511Sergio PerezRED BULL RACING HONDA RBPT1:18.5531:18.1241:17.42316
644Lewis HamiltonMERCEDES1:18.6771:17.5711:17.45418
781Oscar PiastriMCLAREN MERCEDES1:18.2411:17.8741:17.62318
863George RussellMERCEDES1:18.8931:17.6731:17.67419
977Valtteri BottasALFA ROMEO FERRARI1:18.4291:18.0161:18.03217
1024Zhou GuanyuALFA ROMEO FERRARI1:19.0161:18.4401:18.05015
1110Pierre GaslyALPINE RENAULT1:18.9451:18.52115
1227Nico HulkenbergHAAS FERRARI1:18.9691:18.52412
1314Fernando AlonsoASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES1:18.8481:18.73814
1423Alexander AlbonWILLIAMS MERCEDES1:18.8281:19.14712
1522Yuki TsunodaALPHATAURI HONDA RBPT1:18.890DNF11
1631Esteban OconALPINE RENAULT1:19.0806
1720Kevin MagnussenHAAS FERRARI1:19.1639
194Lando NorrisMCLAREN MERCEDES1:21.5546