Verstappen top in Mexico first practice

Marcus Newton
October 28, 2018

Daniel Ricciardo has denied Max Verstappen the chance to become the youngest man in Formula One history to claim pole position after beating his Red Bull team-mate with a sensational flying lap in Mexico.

"As soon as we got into qualifying, I knew straight away the way the car's feeling, I was like, "OK we're in a much stronger position to fight for position". "We hadn't had the cleanest laps in practice and I just knew putting the laps together would be crucial as always".

Max Verstappen fumed that his Red Bull auto let him down as team-mate Daniel Ricciardo stole pole position in Mexico.

In qualifying, Red Bull locked out the front row as Ricciardo pipped his teammate, but Hamilton was just over 0.1s adrift in third and delighted with his team's recovery.

"I am really happy with it", he said.

"Those guys (Red Bull) are in a league of their own", he said.

"I'm holding a lot in, I let a bit out when I heard I got pole. To be as close as I am, I'm really quite happy with that, and to be on third, it's not a bad start".

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World championship leader Hamilton, seeking to clinch his fifth drivers' title, was third for Mercedes ahead of his only rival Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari, with Valtteri Bottas fifth in the second Mercedes and Kimi Raikkonen sixth. "Qualifying was pretty good for me". We have improved the auto so I'm hoping tomorrow we can still give it a fight and if we're able to gain any ground at the beginning, then game on!

"Yesterday was alright, so we'll see what happens", concluded Vettel, who notably has never finished on the podium in Mexico City.

All Hamilton needs to do in order to wrap up the championship is to finish seventh in Sunday's race regardless of where Vettel finishes.

Asked if Red Bull can fix the problems they've experienced before tomorrow, Verstappen added: "I'm not sure but I'll try".

"The vehicle was good in some places, but not so good in others", he said.

The Australian has suffered seven retirements in 18 races this year and his long and triumphant whoop over the team radio, and some typically colourful language afterwards, said it all.

"We tried to make the best of it and I thought it was going to be enough with the problems we had, but it's still good to be second".

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