Hamilton on pole but Rosberg alongside in Mexico

Sat Oct 29, 2016 9:17pm EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Lewis Hamilton took pole position for the Mexican Grand Prix on Saturday with a sizzling lap before Mercedes team mate and title favorite Nico Rosberg pulled a last gasp effort out of the bag to join him on the front row.

On a sunny afternoon at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, the triple Formula One world champion secured his 59th career pole and 10th of the season with a best time of one minute 18.704 seconds.

"I turned up to do the job and I'm going to try to do the same thing I did last week. So far this weekend’s gone well and I'm looking forward to the race. The car feels great," said the Briton, who won in Texas last weekend.

Rosberg, last year's winner from pole in Mexico, has a 26-point lead with three races remaining and will take the title on Sunday if he wins and Hamilton fails to finish in the top nine.

The German had struggled for performance in practice and the early phases of qualifying and was in danger of qualifying fourth before banging in a 1:18.958 in the dying seconds to rescue the situation.

"Lewis's lap was brilliant, not so much mine but I put it together when it counted in the end," a relieved Rosberg told reporters.

"I just took a bit longer this weekend to find a way, just generally with tire temperatures it being on the cold side all weekend...but we got there in the end so that’s OK."

Rosberg had been only sixth fastest in phase one and fifth in the second.   Continued...

Formula One - F1 - Mexican F1 Grand Prix - Mexico City, Mexico - 28/10/16 - Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton of Britain during the second practice session. REUTERS/Henry Romero