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‘Very hard to nail’ pole lap on low-grip Mexican F1 track

Verstappen dragged mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton In qualifying at the low-gripped Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez track, he qualified in both Q1 and Q2, but sealed the pole with the fastest time on death in Q3 after leading from off in the final segment.

it made him clear George Russell Hamilton won 0.304 and 0.309 seconds to take his sixth pole position of the 2022 season.

At the post-qualifying press conference, Verstappen was delighted with his result after facing the Mercedes pair in qualifying.

He also suggested that his team could seal the poles on tracks where the high altitude reduces available downforce and cars slide on a surface some drivers describe as “icy”. I am pleased that the effort went smoothly.

“The start of qualifying was a bit tricky because the track was a little warmer than in FP3, so I think everyone was sliding a little bit and it was a little bit difficult to find the rhythm,” explained Verstappen.

“So it really [learning changes from] Q1 to Q2 to Q3 – trying to find the car balance again.

“At the end of the session it was a little bit better and in Q3 we were finally able to push the car a bit more and [I did] I think it’s a decent two laps.

“Of course, I’m very happy with them, because around here – at least for me – it’s very difficult to pull off a rap.

“There are some kerbs where the grip is very low and you have to hit perfectly to actually gain time.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing

Photo credit: Carl Bingham / motorsport images

“So it’s definitely not the easiest in qualifying or in the race. So is the tire warm-up. But it looks like we got the right situation in Q3.”

Verstappen also said he and Red Bull were “just tweaking some things”. [steering] Wheel [that] everyone is allowed [to do]to find the ‘right balance’ in time for a critical third quarter run.

After posting a 1:17.947 in the opening of Q3, Verstappen improved to 1:17.775 on the pole-winning lap. This was the first time at a Mexican track after losing honors in 2019 for yellow flag violations.

When asked by Autosport where he improved between the two runs, Verstappen said:

“It was just a few corners. [there] It was probably also an evolution of the small truck. Just trying to nail it down the whole time. ‘Very hard to nail’ pole lap on low-grip Mexican F1 track

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