Valtteri Bottas starts the Formula 1 Mexican Grand Prix from pole position, leading a Mercedes front-row lockout.
Talk of the day leading into qualifying was whether Mercedes could bring the fight to Red Bull at a circuit that traditionally favours the more aerodynamic friendly Red Bull cars.
Red Bull ended FP3, held mere hours before qualifying, over half a second faster than both Mercedes cars.
But scrappy laps by Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez gave Mercedes a leg-up, one on which they pounced on with ease.
Bottas pipped teammate Lewis Hamilton to pole by 0.145s.
“Feels awesome,” Bottas said.
“That first run in Q3 was probably one of my best laps.”
Verstappen couldn’t complete his final lap at full tilt when Yuki Tsunoda and Perez ran off the circuit in front of him.
“On that last lap, I was on for a good lap,” Verstappen said. “But I don’t know what happened in front of me.
“Two guys went off and I thought there would be a yellow flag, so I backed out of it.”
Hometown hero Perez starts fourth in his pursuit to become the first Mexican to finish on the podium of his home race in over 20 Grands Prix.
Pierre Gasly was fifth, beating Carlos Sainz’s Ferrari.
Daniel Ricciardo is the lead McLaren in seventh, ahead of Charles Leclerc, Tsunoda and Lando Norris.
Tsunoda and Norris primarily played support roles for their teammates. Both drivers start near the back of the grid after penalties.
The session was delayed for a lengthy period when Lance Stroll crashed heavily at the final corner in Q1.
Stroll is reportedly ok and clear to race tomorrow if Aston Martin can repair his car in time.
Kimi Raikkonen starts a season-best 10th tomorrow after grid penalties play out.