A rather eventful end of the session for the Qualifyng of the Mexico Grand Prix, as Yuki Tsunoda’s Alpha Tauri accidentally got in the way of the two Red Bulls. Tsunoda, who will be starting the race from the back of the grid following a PU substitution, went off track at Turn 10, an incident that set Sergio Perez off as well.
The Mexican was running right behind Tsunoda, while trying to give a tow to teammate Max Verstappen for his final flying lap, and ended up going off track ruining his chances. Verstappen himself was denied one final attempt to catch the Mercedeses in front, as yellow flags came up.
“I think we got Tsunoda'd!” an annoyed Christian Horner told Sky Sports F1 at the end of the session. “Both drivers were up on their last lap, Max was up two and a half tenths, I think Checo was just under two-tenths up, and I don't understand why [Tsunoda] was just cruising around at that part of the circuit.”
“It's disappointing as it affected both the drivers. They're both pretty annoyed, but we're still second row of the grid and can have a great race from there.”
Horner is convinced the team needs “to nail the start with both the drivers,” as it’d be challenging to stay behind the silver arrows for several laps.
“You've got to be careful around here because you can't follow for too long, because the temperatures all start to get out of control,” he explained.
“But I think the first opportunity is down into Turn 1. You've only got to look at the replays from 2019 here to see it can get a bit juicy down there. The tow is strongest obviously on that first lap, so it's going to be grandstand seats down there, but we need to have a good start with both the drivers and try and get a run.”
A situation both teams would want to avoid, as the opening lap clash in 2019 caused both Hamilton and Verstappen to lose positions.
“You’ve still got Valtteri ahead of Lewis,” Horner added. “Lewis is on the dirty side, Max is on the clean side. As I say, it's all going to be about where they are after the first lap, and then of course the strategy will come into play.”
Vertappen and Perez will be starting respectively in 3rd and 4th position, from there they will try to deny Mercedes the chance to turn this front row lock out into a 1-2 finish.
“We believe we should have a quick race car here, so disappointed in today, but still optimistic for tomorrow. We can still have a good race.”