Formula 1: Verstappen on Mexico pole – Schumacher and Vettel out at the same time

Max Verstappen has put himself in a top position with his golden helmet for the record run. However, the two-time Formula 1 World Champion from the Netherlands has to brace himself for direct attacks from the Silver Arrows in the thin mountain air from pole position in the Red Bull. Verstappen relegated George Russell to second and seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton to third in qualifying for the Mexican Grand Prix on Saturday. Fourth was the Mexican Sergio Perez, who was enthusiastically celebrated by the fans.

“I’m hoping for a race with a lot of action,” said Verstappen, who would finish 14th this season with a win and would be the sole record holder ahead of Michael Schumacher (2004/13) and Sebastian Vettel (2013/13). However, with a view to the possible first victory of a Mexican at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez and his teammates, he also announced: “Checo will be there.”

The day could hardly have gone worse for the German duo. Mick Schumacher retired in the Haas as 16th, Sebastian Vettel as 17th after the first knockout section. Both drove the same time down to a thousandth of a second.

Violation of track limits

The pole candidates were still in the pits with their cars when Mick Schumacher came onto the track. No risk, no time to lose. Teammate Kevin Magnussen also drove out and was initially 19 thousandths of a second slower than his German teammate, who is still fighting for a new contract with the Haas team. While Schumacher clearly improved his time again, the fight for the best time in the first knockout section flared up at the front. Russell and Hamilton, the two first place finishers in the last free practice session before qualifying, were initially unable to match Verstappen’s lap.

Then Schumacher raced up to sixth place – happy too soon. Seconds later, his time was canceled again. In the second corner, he had violated the track limits with his Haas: he was no longer on the track asphalt with any of the wheels. One more try – and this time he was ultimately knocked out of the top 15 by Magnussen. When the team informed him via radio, the 23-year-old only replied: “Seriously?”

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