Formula 1: Ferrari sweeps front row for Mexico Grand Prix qualifying ahead of Max Verstappen

Charles Leclerc won his second straight pole as Verstappen aims for his 16th win of the year

Ferrari's Monegasque driver Charles Leclerc (L) celebrates winning the pole position after the qualifying session for the Formula One Mexico Grand Prix at the Hermanos Rodriguez racetrack in Mexico City on October 28, 2023. (Photo by ANDRES STAPFF / AFP) (Photo by ANDRES STAPFF/AFP via Getty Images)
Charles Leclerc won his second straight Formula 1 pole on Saturday. (Photo by ANDRES STAPFF / AFP) (Photo by ANDRES STAPFF/AFP via Getty Images)

Ferrari scored an unexpected front-row lockout during qualifying for Sunday’s Mexico Grand Prix.

Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz posted the two fastest laps in the final qualifying round Saturday as Leclerc won his second straight pole position. Max Verstappen will start third as he goes for his 16th win of the season.

Leclerc and Sainz didn’t show much through the three practice sessions ahead of qualifying but suddenly had fast cars Saturday afternoon. AlphaTauri’s Daniel Ricciardo will start fourth in his second race back from a wrist injury ahead of Verstappen’s Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez in fifth.

Lewis Hamilton will start sixth while McLaren’s Oscar Piastri will start seventh. Piastri’s teammate, Lando Norris, didn’t get out of the first round of qualifying and will start 19th.

Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate George Russell will start eighth as the Alfa Romeo duo of Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu round out the top 10.

Verstappen has shown the most pace of anyone throughout the weekend even though he’s not on pole and is still the overwhelming favorite to win Sunday’s Grand Prix. A win for Verstappen will break the Formula 1 record he set a season ago for most wins in a season and also break Michael Schumacher’s record for the best winning percentage in a single season.

Mexico Grand Prix qualifying results

1. Charles Leclerc, Ferrari

2. Carlos Sainz, Ferrari

3. Max Verstappen, Red Bull

4. Daniel Ricciardo, AlphaTauri

5. Sergio Perez, Red Bull

6. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes

7. Oscar Piastri, McLaren

8. George Russell, Mercedes

9. Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo

10. Zhou Guanyu, Alfa Romeo

11. Pierre Gasly, Alpine

12. Nico Hulkenberg, Haas

13. Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin

14. Alex Albon, Williams

15. Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri

16. Esteban Ocon, Alpine

17. Kevin Magnussen, Haas

18. Lance Stroll, Aston Martin

19. Lando Norris, McLaren

20. Logan Sargeant, Williams