2022 Mexican GP: Did Lewis Hamilton make his best ever error?

Lewis Hamilton qualified behind Mercedes team-mate George Russell at the Mexican GP.

Lewis Hamilton may have somehow qualified in the optimum position for Sunday’s Mexican Grand Prix, after a mistake at the start of Q3 saw the seven-time World Champion end up in third.

The Mercedes driver enjoyed his and the team’s best Saturday by a mile, after astonishingly topping Q1 and Q2, before Q3 slipped away from him.

He was favourite for pole ahead of Q3 after his strong Q1 and Q2, with many believing he’d claim his second pole position at the circuit in Mexico City (he claimed pole at Mexico in 2016).

Hamilton set an initial lap-time of a 1:18.094 in Q3, which provisionally put him in second place behind 2021 rival Max Verstappen; however, his time was immediately deleted for exceeding track limits at Turn Two.

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This saw the 103-time polesitter demoted to P10, with it all to do on his final qualifying lap at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez Circuit.

Interestingly, Turn Two also caught out Mick Schumacher in Q1, which resulted in the young German being eliminated in the opening part rather than progressing to the second part of qualifying.

Hamilton was essentially too greedy with the kerbs in a bid to carry as much corner speed as possible, with going across the kerbs also straightening up the corner significantly.

On his way back to the pits he actually complained about a loss in power, perhaps raising concerns that something could be wrong with his Mercedes power unit.

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Nevertheless, the 37-year-old attempted to go for pole once again on his final lap, but it was only good enough for third after setting a 1:18.084, 0.01 seconds faster than his deleted lap-time.

Whilst his second lap was marginally faster than his first, the majority of the frontrunners found at least a tenth of a second on their final lap, after having a secured banker.

Hamilton had to ensure he completed a valid lap, meaning that perhaps there was more time in the locker had he pushed the W13 further to its limits.

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Third is arguably, though, the best place to be ahead of the race, with the British driver set to receive a monster tow from Verstappen down to the opening corner.

Given that Hamilton has been considerably stronger on Sundays than Saturdays this season, qualifying towards the front could put him in an ideal position to make the most of his usually impressive race pace.

After coming agonisingly close to victory last weekend at the United States Grand Prix, is Hamilton finally going to claim his first win of 2022, and continue his record of having tasted victory in every season he’s competed in?