Bottas sets a new record of most poles for a non-champion, Gasly records his team’s best qualifying result in Mexico and Raikkonen records his best Saturday result of the season so far. Here are the facts and statistics from qualifying at the 2021 Mexico City Grand Prix!
BOTTAS ON POLE
Valtteri Bottas took pole position for the 2021 Mexican Grand Prix, recording the nineteenth pole position of his career. That sees him overtake Rene Arnoux as the non-champion with the most F1 poles. This was Bottas’ third pole of the 2021 season.
This is the first time that Bottas has qualified in the top three at the Mexican Grand Prix. It’s also the first time he’s out-qualified Lewis Hamilton in Mexico during their time as Mercedes team-mates.
Bottas is the fifteenth driver to take pole at the Mexican Grand Prix – and the tenth different driver to do so in the last ten races at the circuit.
This is Mercedes’ first pole position in Mexico since 2016. The previous two times the team has taken pole here, they locked out the front row – just as they did this year. This is Mercedes’ 79th front row lock out.
Bottas’ pole margin was 0.145 seconds – one thousandth of a second less than the margin by which Charles Leclerc took pole in the last race in Mexico.
THE TOP 10
Lewis Hamilton missed out on pole by 0.145 seconds, recording his first front row qualification in Mexico since his pole position in 2016.
Max Verstappen qualified third, failing to set one of the two fastest qualifying times at the track for the first time since 2016.
With fourth place, Sergio Perez recorded his best home qualifying result. He had previously never qualified above ninth place here, which is where he qualified in 2015. This is the first time he has reached Q3 at the Mexican Grand Prix since 2017.
Pierre Gasly qualified fifth for the second time in the last three races. He’s now qualified in the top five on seven occasions in 2021. This was the first time that Gasly has out-qualified his team-mate at the Mexican Grand Prix.
Fifth is the best qualifying result for a Red Bull junior team driver at the Mexican Grand Prix. The previous best was eighth, recorded by Max Verstappen in 2015.
Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas, Max Verstappen, Lando Norris and Charles Leclerc all maintained their 100% Q3 record at the Mexican Grand Prix. Yuki Tsunoda also joined that club with his first Q3 appearance at the circuit.
With sixth place, Carlos Sainz recorded his best Mexican Grand Prix qualifying result. He has improved his qualifying position by one place on each appearance since his first visit here in 2015.
Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc qualified sixth and eighth respectively. It’s the first time neither Ferrari driver has qualified in the top five at the Mexican Grand Prix since 2016.
For a third consecutive race, both AlphaTauri drivers reached Q3. It’s the first time that the team has reached Q3 with both cars at three races in a row since the end of the 2020 season – and only the fourth time they have done so in their history. Toro Rosso reached Q3 at three consecutive races on two separate occasions during the 2008 season.
OUT IN Q2
Sebastian Vettel was eliminated in Q2 for a fifth consecutive race weekend. It’s the first time he has failed to reach Q2 at the Mexican Grand Prix.
For the first time since the Hungarian Grand Prix, both Alfa Romeo drivers reached Q2.
Kimi Raikkonen qualified twelfth, recording his best qualifying result of the season to date. He qualified thirteenth at the British and Hungarian Grands Prix. It’s his best qualifying result since he qualified eighth at the 2020 Turkish Grand Prix.
George Russell qualified thirteenth, becoming the first Williams driver to reach Q2 at the Mexican Grand Prix since both Felipe Massa and Lance Stroll reached Q2 in 2017.
OUT IN Q1
Fernando Alonso was out in Q1, recording his second Q1 exit of the year. He was also out in Q1 in Monaco. Alonso has never reached Q3 in Mexico, but this was his first Q1 elimination at the circuit since 2015.
This was the first time Alonso has been out-qualified by his team-mate at the Mexican Grand Prix.
This is the second time that the Enstone-based team has recorded a Q1 exit in Mexico. They last did so in 2016, when Jolyon Palmer failed to set a lap time.
Lance Stroll crashed out in Q1. He recorded his second consecutive Q1 exit – the second time he has done so in 2021, having also been eliminated in Q1 at two consecutive races at the Azerbaijan and French Grands Prix. This is the third consecutive Mexican Grand Prix at which Stroll has been out in Q1. He last reached Q2 here in his maiden season.
This was the third time that Stroll has qualified on the back row in 2021 – but the first time he has qualified last since the 2018 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
This was Haas’ fifth qualifying session at the Mexican Grand Prix – and the fifth time that both drivers have been eliminated in Q1.
After graduating in 2015 with a First Class honours degree in English Language and Literature, Nicky Haldenby, a lifelong fan of Formula 1, founded the Lights Out F1 Blog in 2016. The blog has become a firm fan-favourite, delving deep into the sport’s history books and lifting the cover on unusual F1 statistics.
Nicky also writes at F1Destinations and Motorsport Guides and can be heard as the resident stats man on the 2 Soft Compounds Podcast. His work has appeared on WTF1, BadgerGP, motorsport.com, Sky Sports F1 and BBC Radio 5 Live. Nicky is also the host of the F1 Rewind Podcast.