Nico Rosberg secured his fourth consecutive pole position after beating Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton in qualifying for the first Mexican Grand Prix since 1992.
The German driver had been second best to his newly crowned triple World Champion team-mate up until the third part of qualifying, but always had an answer to Hamilton when it mattered.
Rosberg’s best time of 1m19.480s was the quickest seen all weekend, and was 0.188s faster than Hamilton, who’s wait for the 50th pole of his career goes on.
Sebastian Vettel was the best of the rest in third for Ferrari, ending just 0.370s back, but was unable to do anything about the dominance of the Mercedes team up front.
Daniil Kvyat outpaced Red Bull Racing team-mate Daniel Ricciardo by just 0.001s to take fourth on the grid, while Valtteri Bottas beat his Williams team-mate Felipe Massa to sixth by just 0.119s.
Max Verstappen secured eighth on the grid for Toro Rosso, while Sergio Perez, in front of his home fans this weekend, and Nico Hulkenberg rounded out the top ten for Force India.
Late laps by Verstappen and Massa eliminated Carlos Sainz Jr and Romain Grosjean at the end of Q2, leaving the Toro Rosso and Lotus drivers to share the sixth row, while the second Lotus of Pastor Maldonado and the leading Sauber of Marcus Ericsson will share the seventh row.
Kimi Raikkonen was the most high profile driver to exit qualifying at the second stage, with the Ferrari driver appearing to struggle for grip as he spun at turn one. The Finn returned to the pits complaining of braking issues and did not return to the track, and will drop to eighteenth on the grid following a pre-qualifying gearbox change.
McLaren-Honda driver Fernando Alonso was eliminated in Q1 along with the second Sauber of Felipe Nasr, while Alexander Rossi once again got the better of Will Stevens in the Manor battle, while the second McLaren of Jenson Button never got out on track following a misfire in his car during practice that necessitated an engine change.
Alonso and Button are set to share the back row of the grid due to the engine change penalties they had incurred before the weekend had even begun in Mexico.
Mexican Grand Prix Qualifying Result
|4||26||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull Racing||1:20.826||1:20.490||1:20.398||21|
|5||3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Racing||1:21.166||1:20.783||1:20.399||23|
|8||33||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso||1:20.995||1:20.894||1:20.710||28|
|9||11||Sergio Perez||Force India||1:20.966||1:20.669||1:20.716||21|
|10||27||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India||1:21.315||1:20.935||1:20.788||20|
|11||55||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso||1:20.960||1:20.942||20|
|20||22||Jenson Button||McLaren||No Time||0|