Haas F1 Team drivers Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen qualified 16th and 18th, respectively, for the Mexican Grand Prix Sunday at Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez in Mexico City. However, Grosjean will start 18th due to a grid penalty incurred during the preceding United States Grand Prix, and Magnussen will move up to 16th because of Grosjean’s penalty and that of 15th-place qualifier Pierre Gasly, who will start at the rear of the field for a power unit replacement on his Toro Rosso.
Grosjean set the 16th-fastest time in Q1 with a lap of 1:16.911 around the 4.304-kilometer (2.674-mile), 17-turn circuit. Magnussen was 18th quickest with a lap of 1:17.599. Only the top-15 drivers move on to Q2. It marked the first time neither driver had made it out of Q1 since last year’s Mexican Grand Prix.
Both Grosjean and Magnussen ran exclusively on the Pirelli P Zero Pink hypersoft tire in qualifying.
Taking the pole for the Mexican Grand Prix was Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo. His fast lap of 1:14.759 set a new track qualifying record at Mexico City and was .026 of a second better than his teammate and runner-up Max Verstappen. It was Ricciardo’s third career Formula One pole, his second this season and his first at Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez.
Ricciardo’s pole extended the streak of having a different pole winner at Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez since Formula One returned to Mexico City in 2015 after a 22-year hiatus. Nico Rosberg won the pole in 2015, Lewis Hamilton won the pole in 2016 and Sebastian Vettel won the pole in 2017.
Before Grosjean, Magnussen 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. The session started off wet, with drivers utilizing the Pirelli Cinturato Green intermediate tire before switching to slicks with approximately 20 minutes remaining.
Grosjean ran an installation lap on intermediates right at the start of FP3, but didn’t go out again until 39 minutes had passed and the track was dry enough for slicks. With hypersofts on his Haas VF-18, Grosjean made 10 laps and set the 13th-fastest time with a 1:18.145 on his eighth tour. Magnussen made only one lap on intermediates, as an intercooler change on his Haas VF-18 sidelined him for the rest of the session.
Quickest in FP3 was Verstappen, whose fast lap of 1:16.284 was .254 of a second better than next-best Hamilton.