Hamilton fights for title with pole in Mexico

Nico Rosberg (left) rescued a front row position, finishing second to Lewis Hamilton (center) and ahead of Max Verstappen in Mexico qualifying.

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Hamilton beats team mate to pole

Rosberg has chance of winning title in Mexico

CNN  — 

Lewis Hamilton has qualified in pole position in the Mexico Grand Prix – reminding his team mate and fierce rival Nico Rosberg that he hasn’t given up on retaining the F1 crown.

Hamilton finished two tenths ahead of Rosberg, who, despite struggling for pace throughout practice and most of the qualifying sessions, managed to haul himself into second place for Sunday’s race.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen had threatened to get on the front row of the grid but was squeezed out by Rosberg.

Red Bull locked out the second row of the grid when Verstappen’s team mate Daniel Ricciardo qualified in fourth.

Nico Hulkenberg in a Force India was fifth with the Ferraris of Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel starting Sunday’s race in sixth and seventh.

The two Williams cars of Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa were in eighth and ninth, with the Toro Rosso of Carlos Sainz making up the last of the top 10.

Hamilton revived his title hopes in Texas with an impeccable performance from pole to chequered flag. The victory at the Circuit of Americas halted a dismal run for the Briton who has suffered a series of mechanical failures during the season

Whatever happens at the Magdalena Mixhuca circuit, Rosberg will go into the next round in Brazil still leading the race for the F1 title.

There is a chance that the German could even seal the championship at the Mexico circuit if he wins the race with Hamilton finishing 10th or lower.

It’s a happy circuit for him. He won there in 2015, starting from pole.

Hamilton told reporters after the keenly-fought qualifying session: “I turned up to do the job and I’m going to try to do the same thing as I did last weekend here.

“So far this weekend has gone well and I’m looking forward to the race. The long runs seemed good and the car feels great, so just looking forward to getting out on track.”

Rosberg seemed happy enough with second, currently enjoying a 26-point cushion over Hamilton.

“It’s not pole position, but it gives me great chance for tomorrow anyway, ” he said.

“It took a bit longer this weekend to find the way. Just generally with tire temperatures, it being on the cold side all the weekend. So it’s a bit nervous out there and just to find the way with that took a bit longer. But got there in the end, so it was okay.”