Formula 1 Mexico Grand Prix: Verstappen Penalised by Three Places, Pole for Charles Leclerc

Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) will start in pole position at the Formula 1 Mexico Grand Prix.

Max Verstappen (Red Bull), who clinched pole position for the Mexican Grand Prix in Formula 1, was penalized by three places on the starting grid. It is thus Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) who will leave in front, this Sunday at 8:10 pm.

Max Verstappen ( Red Bull -Honda), penalized by three places on the starting grid, finally lost his pole position acquired for the Formula 1 GP of Mexico on Sunday, which goes to Charles Leclerc ( Ferrari ), author of the 2nd time at the qualifications.

The Dutch driver is accused of not having slowed down during the crash of Valtteri Bottas ( Mercedes ) while setting the fastest time of the session. He also loses two points on his pilot license. “The driver of car 33 (Verstappen ed.) Admitted that he was aware of the accident of car 77 (Bottas) and that he saw the car accident on the left edge of the track, but that he did not see the yellow flags waved. He also admitted not to have slowed down. The commissioners noted that the footage shot on board car 33 shows that the yellow flags were clearly visible and were deployed in time. The driver who preceded him also slowed down “ says the decision.

Verstappen will start Sunday on the second line alongside Lewis Hamilton. The young Dutchman was almost shot in the foot after having himself admitted, almost bragging, at the press conference following the qualifications did not slow down as he passed on the scene. the accident.

Hamilton, who inherits the stroke of the 3rd position, must score 14 points more than his teammate Bottas to be crowned world champion for the 6th time Sunday. The Brit could take advantage of the fact that Bottas’ car was badly damaged in the accident and that the Finnish driver could suffer penalties on the grid if essential parts had to be changed before departure. Toto Wolff, the manager of the Mercedes team, however, evaluated at “90%” the chances that the “car can be repaired without incurring penalty” for change of essential parts.

Presented as the favourites of this Grand Prix, the 18th of the season on 21, the Ferrari had, before the penalty, undergone the law of Verstappen and his Red Bull, decidedly very comfortable on this circuit where he won in 2017 and 2018.  “Max was just too fast for us today,” said Charles Leclerc, before knowing he would ultimately inherit the pole.

The Monegasque is tied for points with Verstappen at the world championship, behind Hamilton, Bottas and Vettel and the two young drivers have had some strong muscular passes in the last events. “We have good momentum and we should be able to take advantage of it,” he hoped while conceding that “we did not expect them (Verstappen and Red Bull) to be so strong” .

The rain could also be invited during the Grand Prix, which would considerably change the situation of the qualifying sessions that took place in dry weather. The Mexican circuit is the highest of all the season at more than 2,200 meters of altitude and the rarefaction of the air also modifies the behavior of the cars as well as their aerodynamic supports.

Behind the three leading teams, the McLarens were the ones who did well. Powered by a Renault engine, they achieved the 7th and 8th time with Carlos Sainz Jr. and Lando Norris, reinforcing their claim to be this year ” the best of the rest, fourth in the constructor’s standings, already won by Mercedes in Japan’s last GP.

The Toro Rosso – Hondas also made a group shot in 9th and 10th positions with the Russian Daniil Kvyat and the French Pierre Gasly. This good performance could allow them to threaten the Renault for the 5th place in the constructors’ ranking, where the French cars are only 6 points ahead of the  Red Bull Racing Junior Team”, after their disqualification at the end of the GP from Japan for the non-compliant braking system.

The Renault has had a difficult qualifying session on Saturday and will only hold the 12th ( Nico Hülkenberg ) and 13th ( Daniel Ricciardo ) places on the starting grid of the Grand Prix, which will start at 13:10 local time (20:10 CET).

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