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Vettel takes pole at Mexican GP as Hamilton settles for P3

29 October 2017

Hamilton's only remaining title rival, four-time ex-champion Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari, was fifth fastest ahead of his teammate Kimi Raikkonen, the pair separated from the Mercedes duo by the Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo.

Verstappen was comfortably quickest in Q2 and enjoyed an advantage of over a quarter of a second after the first runs in Q3, but Vettel denied the 20-year-old his first pole position by 0.086s with a stunning final lap at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.

Bottas was on his first flying lap in Q3 when he came up on the slowing Red Bull on approach to the Turn 13 left-hander, the Finn locking up at the corner a outcome.

"I gave it everything I could", said Hamilton. It is not as much in my control as I would like it to be. I had a moment at Turn 6, almost lost the vehicle, but managed to go through without any time loss and from there I felt really comfortable to push until the end. "We are still in for the win and I am hoping I get to have at least a battle with one of them".

The matter was investigated by the stewards but it was deemed that Verstappen did not deserve a penalty as he was not judged to have "impeded" Bottas.

Bottas had earlier told Sky Sports: "I was on my lap and I could see in the last sector he [Verstappen] was going quite slow at the exit of turn 12 and compromised my line a bit for turn 13".

"When I heard it was enough, then, yeah, it's like an explosion in the auto", added the German.

"Really, really happy with the lap I had today".

"Which incident?" he said when asked about it after the session. I was surprised myself with just now.

"It's his own problem, isn't it, if he out brakes himself in the next corner".

"I was already past the point where you got to the right, so I don't see an incident". I was on the inside, I didn't hold him up, so he can say what he wants.

Vettel takes pole at Mexican GP as Hamilton settles for P3