The classification of the 2022 Formula 1 Mexican Grand Prix seemed to be the ideal occasion for Mercedes to take that definitive step forward that they have been talking about so much since the summer break. The star cars surprised in the free practice sessions, and it is that they even scored a double at certain times of the weekend when all the drivers were in the same conditions on the track, so they were one of the favorites for pole position .
However, for this they had to overcome the main rival who has conquered his second world title, Max Verstappen, who, despite not having shown his cards so far in qualifying, took out a record that earned him to make sure for the 19th time the first position on Saturday. After the disappointment of not getting the best possible result, the Germans were satisfied with George Russell’s second place and Lewis Hamilton’s third, who already warned at the United States Grand Prix last week that they could fight for victories .
The seven-time world champion of the highest category of motorsport saw how the stewards snatched one of his fastest laps, but he managed to stay in a second row that he will share with Sergio Pérez. The Briton will have a chance of reaching the first corner in the lead if he reacts well to the traffic lights and gets a slipstream from the leaders, so being third could even result in an advantage at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodríguez.
Asked if he had his time erased for exceeding track limits , he said: “Yes, unfortunately the first lap, yes, but it wasn’t good enough. The Red Bulls are very fast.”
“Instead, this is an incredible showing, I’m very proud of the team. It’s the best qualifying we’ve had all year, and that shows that perseverance and not giving up is the way to go, so I have to give thanks to everyone here and at the factory”, explained the English driver.
Regarding his teammate, Lewis Hamilton thinks that he could have matched him if it weren’t for certain mistakes, but he still has hope at the start: “I think that, in general, my laps have been quite good. I think that the last one was not enough, there was more performance, but we have to keep pushing. I’m quite happy with that position, it’s a long way to the first corner.”
Despite that third place, the Englishman revealed that he had setbacks with his Mercedes power unit , which could have weighed him down: “We had some problem with the engine towards the end, and in Q3, so I think there was performance, I did the best I could”.
“I think losing my first lap made the last lap very difficult, I had to be cautious on that last lap, just to make sure it was clean, because I was 11th up to that point,” Hamilton said. “Unfortunately I haven’t been able to push as hard as I would have liked. However, I think it’s a good result for the team, second and third, it’s not a bad position to start tomorrow, and hopefully tomorrow we can fix the problem.”
“It started showing up in Q2, and then it was every lap of Q3. It basically ran out of power coming out of corners,” explained the Briton. “So I think we lost a lot of time, especially in the last corner, but it was in most of the corners, it seemed like a combustion problem, but I will find out with the team,” said the seven-time champion.
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