Defending champion Lewis Hamilton grabbed pole position on Saturday for the Mexican Grand Prix and then said his best lap came during his worst session of the weekend.
“On long runs we were really strong and practice was really good,” said the three-time champion who is 26 points adrift of Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg with three races remaining.
“So strangely Q3 was actually my worst session of the whole weekend so far.”
Rosberg, who had struggled to be within half a second of Hamilton for most sessions, managed to close to two-tenths on his final run to take second place on the grid.
Hamilton added that he was not worried that rivals Red Bull were third and fourth on the grid and set to start the race on the super-soft tyres.
“It is always a tough battle to pull out perfect laps when it counts, especially on these tyres, but going into this race we have the right strategy and the car is in a good place for the long runs.
“We have had a lot of pace and that is why we believed it was possible to progress on the soft tyres – and we did our long run on the soft tyres.
“The super-soft was a bit of a mess. It may not be for them (Red Bull), but it was for us.”