Race Weekend Central

Charles Leclerc Takes Pole for Mexico City Grand Prix

Charles Leclerc led Ferrari teammate Carlos Sainz to a 1-2 result during Saturday’s (Oct. 28) qualifying for the Formula 1 Mexico City Grand Prix. The pole is the 22nd of Leclerc’s career.

Max Verstappen qualified in third place ahead of the AlphaTauri of Daniel Ricciardo and hometown hero Sergio Perez.

“To be honest, I did not expect to be on pole position today,” Leclerc told Sky Sports’ James Hinchcliffe after the session. “We thought we were lacking quite a bit after [practice]. But for some reason, once we put everything together it went well; with the new tires we gained a lot. But I’m already focusing on tomorrow’s race … we need to convert it into a win tomorrow and, of course, it’s going to be very difficult.”

Q3

The third session of qualifying was decisively controlled by the Ferrari duo of Leclerc and Sainz. The Scuderia set their best times early in the session and benefited from a shift in track conditions which kept the rest of the field from finding more pace as the session carried on. No lap times were eliminated and no on-track incidents occurred.

Pos. Car #DriverTeamTime from Leader
1.16LeclercFerrari1:17.166
2.55SainzFerrari+0.067
3.33VerstappenRed Bull Racing Honda RBPT+0.097
4.3RicciardoAlphaTauri Honda RBPT+0.216
5.11PerezRed Bull Racing Honda RBPT+0.257
6.44Lewis HamiltonMercedes+0.288
7.81Oscar PiastriMcLaren Mercedes+0.457
8.63George RussellMerceds+0.508
9.77Valtteri BottasAlfa Romeo Ferrari+0.866
10.24Zhou GuanyuAlfa Romeo Ferrari +0.884
See also
F1 Slipstream Saturdays: It's Time For An F1 Hall Of Fame

Q2

Alex Albon, who looked to have put in a scorching lap for Williams, securing the team a spot in Q3, had his fastest lap time deleted after the conclusion of Q2, promoting Zhou to 10th and a transfer to Q3 while Albon was relegated to a 14th-place start for Sunday’s race.

Yuki Tsunoda did not set a flying lap time during Q2, meaning he was eliminated and will start in 15th place on Sunday. He did, however, provide a draft to his teammate Ricciardo, who advanced to Q3. The Japanese driver also had less than pleasant encounter with a Williams jack on his way out of the garage.

Pos.Car #DriverTeamTime from Advancing
11.10Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri Honda RBPT+0.081
12.27Nico HulkenbergHaas Ferrari +0.084
13.14Fernando AlonsoAston Martin Aramco +0.298
14.23AlbonWilliams Mercedes+0.707
15.22TsunodaAlphaTauri Honda RBPTN/A

Q1

Alonso triggered a game-changing yellow flag toward the end of the first qualifying session with an uncharacteristic error in one of the track’s slowest sections. The resulting yellow interrupted flying laps for several drivers.

Verstappen was noted for the offense of impeding after parking his RB19 at the exit of pit lane with a gaggle of cars waiting to take to the track behind him. The Dutchman will be investigated after the session.

Logan Sargeant had his lap time deleted due to a track limits violation, dropping him from his initial result of 19th down to 20th.

Pos.Car #DriverTeamTime from Advancing
16.31Esteban OconAlpine Renault+0.064
17.20Kevin MagnussenHaas Ferrari+0.147
18.18Lance StrollAston Martin Aramco Mercedes+0.211
19.4Lando NorrisMcLaren Mercedes+2.538
20.2SargeantWilliams MercedesN/A
See also
Inside IndyCar: Driver Updates and 2 Grand Tickets

2023 F1 Mexico City Grand Prix Qualifying Results

The Mexico City Grand Prix will go green on Sunday, Oct. 29, at 4 p.m. ET, with coverage on ESPN.

About the author

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Alex is the IndyCar Content Director at Frontstretch, having initially joined as an entry-level contributor in 2021. He also serves as Managing Director of The Asia Cable, a publication focused on the international affairs and politics of the Asia-Pacific region which he co-founded in 2023. With previous experience in China, Japan and Poland, Alex is particularly passionate about the international realm of motorsport and the politics that make the wheels turn - literally - behind the scenes.

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