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F1 starting grid: Valtteri Bottas claims pole position at Mexican Grand Prix

Formula One racing is headed to Mexico City for the Mexican Grand Prix. We’ll update qualifying until we’ve got the full racing grid is set Sunday’s race at Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez.

A general view of parc ferme as pole position qualifier Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Red Bull Racing celebrates with second place qualifier Charles Leclerc of Monaco and Ferrari and third place qualifier Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Ferrari during qualifying for the F1 Grand Prix of Mexico at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez on October 26, 2019 in Mexico City, Mexico. Photo by Charles Coates/Getty Images

Race day update: We’ve updated the starting grid to reflect grid penalties for five difference drivers. George Russell will start at No. 16 due to a new gearbox, while Yuki Tsunoda, Lando Norris, Esteban Ocon, and Lance Stroll are in slots 17-20 after taking on new power unit elements.

5:30 p.m. update: Valtteri Bottas won the pole position at Saturday’s qualifying. He’ll start Sunday’s Mexican Grand Prix in the No. 1 slot and Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen will join him on the front row.

5:10 p.m. update: The second qualifying period is a wrap and Lewis Hamilton led at the end. The five drivers eliminated were Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Räikkönen, George Russell, Antonio Giovinazzi, and Esteban Ocon. They will occupy spots 11-15.

4:46 p.m. update: The first qualifying period resumed at 4:33 and we have the first five eliminations. Fernando Alonso, Nicholas Latifi, Mick Schumacher, Nikita Mazepin, and Lance Stroll were the first five out. Stroll wrecked and his status for Sunday’s race is uncertain.

4:10 p.m. update: Lance Stroll ran into the barriers and had his car spin out in the first stage. He appears to be alright, but the clock has been stopped with 11 minutes remaining in Q1 to clear up the debris.

Formula One racing has arrived in the Mexico City this weekend for the first time in two years. The Mexican Grand Prix was canceled last year due to COVID-19, but it returns on Sunday at Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez. The green flag drops at 2 p.m. ET on ABC and it will be available for live stream at WatchESPN.

On Saturday, qualifying will run from 4 to 5 p.m. ET on ESPNews and ESPN Deportes to determine the starting grid. The 20 drivers will race to establish the fastest time and secure pole position. F1 qualifying is broken up into three stages with a 20-minute stage determining spots 16-20, a 15 minute stage determining 11-15, and a final ten minutes to determine pole position and spots 2-10 for Sunday’s race.

Max Verstappen will look to claim his tenth pole of the season and is the favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook, with odds installed at -165. He is followed by Lewis Hamilton (+215), Sergio Perez (+900), Charles Lecler (+1400), and Valtteri Bottas (+1600). It’s a steep drop-off from there, with Carlos Sainz installed at +4000.

Here is the full entry list for Saturday’s Mexican Grand Prix as qualifying gets underway. We’ll provide updates with each driver’s time and how the starting lineup settles.

2021 Mexican Grand Prix, starting grid

Position Driver Car No.
Position Driver Car No.
1 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team 77
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team 44
3 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing 33
4 Sergio Pérez Red Bull Racing 11
5 Pierre Gasly Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda 10
6 Carlos Sainz, Jr. Scuderia Ferrari 55
7 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren F1 Team 3
8 Charles Leclerc Scuderia Ferrari 16
9 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin Cognizant F1 Team 5
10 Kimi Räikkönen Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN 7
11 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN 99
12 Fernando Alonso Alpine F1 Team 14
13 Nicholas Latifi Williams Racing 6
14 Mick Schumacher Uralkali Haas F1 Team 47
15 Nikita Mazepin Uralkali Haas F1 Team 9
16 George Russell Williams Racing 63
17 Yuki Tsunoda Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda 22
18 Lando Norris McLaren F1 Team 4
19 Esteban Ocon Alpine F1 Team 31
20 Lance Stroll Aston Martin Cognizant F1 Team 18