Valtteri Bottas blisters to Mexican GP pole as Mercedes keep Red Bull at bay

The Finn was immaculate at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez, beating Lewis Hamilton into second and securing a Mercedes one-two that had seemed unfeasible earlier in the weekend. Yet it was Bottas and Hamilton who delivered with calm assurance, Bottas claiming he could not have done any better. Bottas was clinical in delivering the perfect lap at the sharp end of qualifying, to which Red Bull had no answer. To put the achievement in perspective, Hamilton and Bottas had been over half a second behind a Red Bull one-two in final practice. On the decisive runs it was Bottas who set the benchmark on the first hot laps with a time of 1min 15.875sec. Neither Bottas or Hamilton went quicker but the pair had already secured a most unlikely one-two.

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