2023 F1 Mexican Grand Prix – Qualifying results

Jamie Woodhouse
Max Verstappen

Max Verstappen topped both practice sessions on Friday.

Charles Leclerc claimed pole for the Mexican Grand Prix after Ferrari delivered a front-row lockout out of nowhere.

Lewis Hamilton was looking like the strongest challenger to Max Verstappen, both cleared after investigations for yellow flag and impeding incidents respectively, but it was Ferrari who delivered the goods come Q3.

Verstappen then faces a P3 start, with former team-mate, AlphaTauri’s Daniel Ricciardo for company on row two.

FP3 suggested a wide-open field behind Red Bull’s Verstappen, though Alex Albon continued his stunning display in the Williams to establish himself as a possible pole position contender.

First though the drivers needed to clear Q1, which already was a concern for Albon who worryingly reported “the tyres are completely gone, it’s a completely different car”, while Verstappen was picked up by Race Control for an impeding in the pit lane investigation, as well as George Russell.

A spin for Fernando Alonso, also added to that investigation list, triggered a late yellow flag, wrecking a collection of flying laps as shockingly Lando Norris, along with Logan Sargeant, Lance Stroll, Kevin Magnussen and Esteban Ocon dropped out, while Verstappen topped the session.

Lewis Hamilton was noted for potentially failing to slow under those yellow flags, as was Sargeant, the stewards then turning that to an investigation for the pair. Sargeant, as well as Tsunoda, would also be investigated for overtaking under yellow flags.

But wait…there’s more! Norris, George Russell and Zhou Guanyu were all noted for failing to respect the maximum delta time.

Finally, the Q2 action saw Hamilton go P1, 0.054s up on Verstappen, while Zhou, Pierre Gasly, Nico Hulkenberg, Alonso and Tsunoda were all out. Tsunoda will drop to the back of the grid after taking a new power unit.

There was a reprieve for Zhou though, as after Albon saw his final time deleted for track limits at Turn 2, Zhou was back in for Q3.

The opening Q3 runs brought surprises aplenty as Ferrari shot to a provisional front-row lockout, Leclerc ahead of Carlos Sainz, with Verstappen and his former team-mate Ricciardo on the second row.

Neither Ferrari could improve on their final runs, but Verstappen could not find enough time either as Leclerc took pole for the Mexican Grand Prix, Sainz making it a Ferrari front-row lockout which nobody was coming.

Q3 times

1 Charles LECLERC Ferrari 1:17.166
2 Carlos SAINZ Ferrari +0.067
3 Max VERSTAPPEN Red Bull Racing +0.097
4 Daniel RICCIARDO AlphaTauri +0.216
5 Sergio PEREZ Red Bull Racing +0.257
6 Lewis HAMILTON Mercedes +0.288
7 Oscar PIASTRI McLaren +0.457
8 George RUSSELL Mercedes +0.508
9 Valtteri BOTTAS Alfa Romeo +0.866
10 Guanyu ZHOU Alfa Romeo +0.884

Q2 times

1 Lewis HAMILTON Mercedes 1:17.571
2 Max VERSTAPPEN Red Bull Racing +0.054
3 George RUSSELL Mercedes +0.102
4 Daniel RICCIARDO AlphaTauri +0.135
5 Oscar PIASTRI McLaren +0.303
6 Charles LECLERC Ferrari +0.330
7 Valtteri BOTTAS Alfa Romeo +0.445
8 Sergio PEREZ Red Bull Racing +0.553
9 Alexander ALBON Williams +0.731
10 Carlos SAINZ Ferrari +0.811
11 Guanyu ZHOU Alfa Romeo +0.869
12 Pierre GASLY Alpine +0.950
13 Nico HULKENBERG Haas F1 Team +0.953
14 Fernando ALONSO Aston Martin +1.167
15 Yuki TSUNODA AlphaTauri

Q1 times

1 Max VERSTAPPEN Red Bull Racing 1:18.099
2 Oscar PIASTRI McLaren +0.142
3 Daniel RICCIARDO AlphaTauri +0.242
4 Charles LECLERC Ferrari +0.302
5 Valtteri BOTTAS Alfa Romeo +0.330
6 Sergio PEREZ Red Bull Racing +0.454
7 Lewis HAMILTON Mercedes +0.578
8 Carlos SAINZ Ferrari +0.656
9 Alexander ALBON Williams +0.729
10 Fernando ALONSO Aston Martin +0.749
11 Yuki TSUNODA AlphaTauri +0.791
12 George RUSSELL Mercedes +0.794
13 Pierre GASLY Alpine +0.846
14 Nico HULKENBERG Haas F1 Team +0.870
15 Guanyu ZHOU Alfa Romeo +0.917
16 Esteban OCON Alpine +0.981
17 Kevin MAGNUSSEN Haas F1 Team +1.064
18 Lance STROLL Aston Martin +1.128
19 Lando NORRIS McLaren +3.455
20 Logan SARGEANT Williams