Formula 1: Bottas takes surprise pole in Mexico

07 November 2021 22:44:26 GMTPlus11
Bottas claims Mexico pole

Valtteri Bottas claimed pole position for Sunday's Mexican Grand Prix as he and Mercedes' team-mate Lewis Hamilton enjoyed a great qualifying session.

Bottas is 9/2 to win the race, while world championship leader Max Verstappen is 5/4 and Hamilton is currently available at 13/10.

Bottas showing pace

Red Bull were expected to lead the charge in Mexico City after dominating the weekend, but Mercedes rose to the occasion in the second half of qualifying.

Verstappen had taken a grip on proceedings with a first lap that was half a second quicker than Bottas but that changed as Mercedes fought back in the second half of the session after they switched to medium tyres.

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They held onto the advantage when switching back to softs for the top-ten shootouts and the Finn claimed a 0.35-second lead over Verstappen with Hamilton joining his team-mate on the front row.

Misfortune for Red Bull pair

Verstappen and team-mate Sergio Perez were held up when Alpha Tauri's Yuki Tsunoda went off in front of them.

The all-Mercedes front row could have big consequences for the title race as Hamilton is just 12 points behind Verstappen with four more races after this weekend to go.

Hamilton said: "We have been working so hard. We didn't think we had the pace this weekend so to lock out the front row is pretty special.

"I really have no idea what happened. They were 0.6secs ahead at some stage and then 0.4secs ahead, but whatever happened all of a sudden in qualifying we had better pace. I'm just as shocked as everyone."

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