Nico Rosberg claimed the first Mexican F1 pole position in 23 years as he held off Lewis Hamilton to grab the coveted grid slot.
Low grip and high speeds were the story of qualifying while a few drops rain as Q2 concluded didn’t help with the slippery surface or those drivers struggling to get heat into the tyres.
Hamilton was the first driver out on track in Q3 as Mercedes tried to get the best of the track conditions before more rain fell.
However it was his team-mate Rosberg who led the way after their first flying lap with a 1:19.690. Hamilton did hit back only for Rosberg to go even quicker, a 1:19.480.
For the second run neither Mercedes driver was able to make any major improvements and a mistake in the final sector meant Hamilton crossed the line still in second place.
Rosberg also was unable to improve but that didn’t matter as pole position was his.
Sebastian Vettel qualified third, 0.370s down, while Daniil Kvyat was fourth. He beat his Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo by 0.001s!
Valtteri Bottas was sixth ahead of Felipe Massa and Max Verstappen.
Home town favourite Sergio Perez, who was greeted with wild cheers on every lap he did, qualified P9 for his home race. His team-mate Nico Hulkenberg completed the top ten.
Earlier Kimi Raikkonen finished down in 15th place and will face a five-place grid penalty as Ferrari changed his gearbox between sessions.
Although thanking his mechanics for their hard work to get him out for qualifying, he called it quits early in Q2 as he had “some issue with the brakes.”
It was also a disappointing Saturday for McLaren, who failed to repeat Friday’s pace.
While Fernando Alonso dropped out in Q1, down in 16th place, Jenson Button did not take part in the session due to yet more engine woes.
He was stuck in the pits as “underlying signal problems on JB’s engine have not been resolved”. Both drivers also face grid penalties.
1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:19.480
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:19.668 +0.188
3 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:19.850 +0.370
4 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull 1:20.398 +0.918
5 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:20.399 +0.919
6 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:20.448 +0.968
7 Felipe Massa Williams 1:20.567 +1.087
8 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso 1:20.710 +1.230
9 Sergio Perez Force India 1:20.716 +1.236
10 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:20.788 +1.308
11 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso 1:20.942
12 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:21.038
13 Pastor Maldonado Lotus 1:21.261
14 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1:21.544
15 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:22.494
16 Fernando Alonso McLaren 1:21.779
17 Felipe Nasr Sauber 1:21.788
18 Alexander Rossi Manor 1:24.136
19 Will Stevens Manor 1:24.386
20 Jenson Button McLaren No time