Leclerc becomes the first repeat polesitter in 12 Mexican race weekends, Ricciardo qualifies in the top four for the first time in over two years and Norris records the fourth Q1 exit of his career. Here are the facts and statistics from qualifying at the 2023 Mexico City Grand Prix!
LECLERC ON POLE FOR THE 2023 MEXICO CITY GRAND PRIX
Charles Leclerc took pole position for the 2023 Mexico City Grand Prix, becoming the first repeat polesitter in the last 12 races at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.
Leclerc recorded the 22nd pole position of his career, equalling Fernando Alonso for 14th in the all-time list of Formula 1 pole positions.
This was a milestone pole position for Ferrari, being their 250th pole as an engine manufacturer. Only two of those poles were not for the Ferrari team themselves – Sebastian Vettel’s pole for Toro Rosso at the 2008 Italian Grand Prix and Kevin Magnussen’s pole for Haas at the 2022 Sao Paulo Grand Prix.
Ferrari equalled Honda as the engine manufacturer with the most pole positions in Mexico. This was Ferrari’s fourth pole in the country.
Leclerc took consecutive pole positions for the first time since the 2022 Italian and Singapore Grands Prix.
THE TOP 10
With Carlos Sainz second, Ferrari recorded their second front row lock-out in Mexico, having also locked-out the front row in 2019. It’s the first time the team have set the two fastest lap times in qualifying at the event.
This was the first time that Sainz did not qualify one position better for the Mexico City Grand prix than where he qualified on his previous appearance at the track.
Max Verstappen qualified third for the 2023 Mexico City Grand Prix, making this the first time since the 2022 Monaco and Azerbaijan Grands Prix that he has not qualified on the front row at successive races.
For the first time since the 2021 Italian Grand Prix, Daniel Ricciardo qualified in the top four at the 2023 Mexico City Grand Prix. It was his first top four qualification in Mexico since he took pole position in 2018.
This was the best qualifying result for the AlphaTauri team since Pierre Gasly qualified fourth at the 2021 Qatar Grand Prix.
The 2023 Mexico City Grand Prix is only the eighth time that a driver for the Red Bull junior team will start from the front two rows of the grid.
Lewis Hamilton qualified sixth for the 2023 Mexico City Grand Prix, marking the first time that he has qualified outside of the top four at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.
With Hamilton sixth and George Russell eighth, this was the first time since Formula 1’s return to Mexico that neither Mercedes driver qualified on the front two rows of the grid.
Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen and Valtteri Bottas all maintained their 100% Q3 appearance record in Mexico and in doing so equalled Jack Brabham as the drivers to have qualified in the top ten in Mexico on the most occasions.
For the second time in the 2023 season, Alfa Romeo saw both cars reach Q3. Both Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu also reached Q3 at the 2023 Hungarian Grand Prix. This was the former Sauber team’s first double Q3 appearance in Mexico since 2018. They also qualified ninth and tenth that year.
This was Bottas’ fourth Q3 appearance of the season and Zhou’s second top ten qualification of the year.
Ninth is Bottas’ worst qualifying result to date at the Mexico City Grand Prix.
OUT IN Q2
For the fourth consecutive Mexico City Grand Prix weekend, Lewis Hamilton set the fastest lap time in Q2. It remains true that the fastest driver in Q2 in Mexico has never gone on to take pole position.
After reaching Q3 at all of the first 17 races of the year, Fernando Alonso failed to qualify in the top ten for a second consecutive race. 2022 remains the only time that Alonso has reached Q3 at the track.
This was Alonso’s first Q2 exit since the 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Nico Hulkenberg made the 2023 Mexico City Grand Prix only the second time that a Haas driver made it out of Q1 at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez. He recorded the team’s best qualifying result to date at the track with 12th place – three positions higher than they have ever qualified before.
Hulkenberg equalled his worst Mexico qualifying result to date.
Alex Albon looked set to become the first Williams driver since 2016 to reach Q3 at the Mexico City Grand Prix but a deleted lap time saw him drop to 14th in the final Q2 order.
OUT IN Q1
Lando Norris recorded the fourth Q1 elimination of his Formula 1 career and his third of the 2023 season to date.
Norris lost his 100% Q3 appearance rate at the Mexico City Grand Prix as a result of his Q1 exit.
This was McLaren’s first Q1 exit in Mexico since 2018.
Lance Stroll recorded his sixth consecutive Q1 exit at the 2023 Mexico City Grand Prix.
Recording his fifth Q1 exit at the Mexico City Grand Prix, Stroll overtook Romain Grosjean’s record for the most Q1 exits at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez. Kevin Magnussen equalled his former team-mate’s tally.
Magnussen ensured that Haas maintain their record of seeing at least one of their drivers exit in Q1 on every visit to Mexico.
Esteban Ocon was eliminated in Q1 at the 2023 Mexico City Grand Prix, recording the Enstone team’s third Q1 exit at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.
Ocon recorded his first Q1 exit in Mexico since his maiden season in 2016.