Mercedes surprised Crimson Bull by locking out the entrance row of the grid for Sunday’s race on the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, as Valtteri Bottas headed up a 1-2 finish in Q3.
Hamilton certified second, one place forward of title rival Verstappen in third, leaving the Dutchman on the again foot heading into the race as he bids to construct on his championship lead.
Verstappen sits 12 factors away from Hamilton within the standings with 5 races to go, with a lot of the pre-weekend narrative surrounding the possibility of another clash between the two drivers after incidents at Silverstone and Monza.
Mexico affords drivers one of many longest runs of the season to a Flip 1 braking level, which means the slipstream afforded from not beginning on pole place will be notably highly effective.
Crimson Bull crew boss Horner mentioned it was vital to keep away from getting caught behind one other automobile for too lengthy because of the cooling challenges at altitude, however famous Flip 1 was someplace that incidents may happen.
“You’ve received to watch out round right here as a result of you may’t observe for too lengthy, as a result of the temperatures will begin to get uncontrolled,” Horner mentioned on Sky Sports activities F1 following qualifying.
“However I feel the primary alternative is down into Flip 1. You’ve solely received to take a look at the replays from 2019 right here to see it could get a bit juicy down there.
“The tow is strongest clearly on that first lap. It’s going to be grandstand seats down there. We have to have a superb begin with each the drivers, and try to get a run.”
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W10, leads as Max Verstappen, Crimson Bull Racing RB15, runs extensive
Picture by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images
The 2019 race noticed Hamilton go side-by-side with Verstappen at Flip 1 after being blocked by Sebastian Vettel from third on the grid. Verstappen squeezed Hamilton in direction of the exit of the nook, just for Hamilton to carry his line, giving him the within for Flip 2. The 2 drivers made contact, inflicting each to take to the grass and lose positions.
Requested how a lot Verstappen could be prepared to danger at Flip 1 given the title battle, Horner mentioned: “We don’t need an motion replay.
“For those who have a look at 2019, Max beginning third, Lewis received very aggressive into Flip 2, after which a puncture [picked up in a subsequent clash with Bottas] screwed the remainder of the race.
“You’ve received to be there on the end, and I nonetheless suppose we’ve received an important probability on this race. It’s definitely more durable than it was wanting maybe earlier this morning.”
Horner took confidence in the truth that Verstappen was unlikely to make use of the tender tyre within the race, having made it via Q2 on mediums.
“We’ve regarded fairly good on the medium tyre all weekend,” Horner mentioned.
“We don’t see the tender tyre once more. Max was by no means that proud of the tender to this point this weekend. The exhausting tyre was OK for us.
“So very first thing is to nail the beginning and see what formation driving there may be right down to Flip 1.”