Haas F1 Team drivers Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean qualified 18th and 19th, respectively, for the Mexican Grand Prix Sunday at Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez in Mexico City. However, with grid penalties incurred by others, Magnussen will start 16th and Grosjean will start 17th.
The struggles of Friday seeped into Saturday, with neither driver able to advance from Q1. As they chased grip throughout the 4.304-kilometer (2.674-mile), 17-turn circuit, they were unable to crack the top-15 cutoff to get into Q2.
Magnussen set the 18th-fastest time with a lap of 1:19.443. Grosjean was just behind his teammate in 19th with a lap of 1:19.473. Both drivers used the Pirelli P Zero Purple ultrasoft tire.
Taking the pole for the Mexican Grand Prix was Scuderia Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel. His fast lap of 1:16.488 was .086 of a second better than runner-up Max Verstappen of Red Bull and it set a new track record at Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez. It was Vettel’s milestone 50th career Formula One pole, his fourth of the season and first in the Mexican Grand Prix.
Before Magnussen, Grosjean and the rest of their Formula One counterparts participated in knockout qualifying, they had one final practice (FP3) to dial in their racecars for a quick lap around the track. To emulate qualifying, both drivers ran exclusively on ultrasofts.
Magnussen ran 19 laps and set the 14th-fastest time with a 1:19.205 on his 16th lap. Grosjean tallied 22 laps and earned his best time on his 18th lap – a 1:19.586 that put him 17th overall.
Quickest in FP3 was Verstappen, whose fast lap of 1:17.113 was .075 of a second better than Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton.