Ricciardo grabs pole at Mexican Grand Prix

Mercedes Lewis Hamilton celebrates after winning the World Championship in Mexico on Oct 28 2018

Last year's race victor looked a good bet to become the youngest driver on pole position in Saturday's qualifying with the 21-year-old Dutchman impressively quick at the high-altitude circuit.

"I knew it was in there somewhere, I just knew the pace was in the vehicle, Max showed that all weekend". "Considering how bad yesterday was for us, and so I really want to say a big thank you to everyone who's back at the factory who've been working hard overnight and also the guys here, to rectify the issues we've had and get the auto back into a sweeter spot".

After taking pole for the first time at a race other than Monaco, Ricciardo was ecstatic in the auto, leaving his engineers in stitches with his celebration, before making his push for quote of the season when being interviewed on the track.

"I was not expecting to be up as high as we have done", said the Briton.

"Those guys (Red Bull) are in a league of their own", he said. "The team did a great job yesterday, this was as good as I could get".

And in his way for the start of Sunday's race will be a wall of blue, after his former team Red Bull locked out the front row in qualifying.

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Horner said that if Verstappen's auto needed an engine change, the driver still had one left in his pool and should not face any grid drop. It was not a bad lap but it just didn't come together. "Qualifying was pretty good for me". "Obviously a year ago we didn't have a great race, and I'm hoping for a better race tomorrow".

"We tried to make the best of it and I thought it was going to be enough for pole with the problems we had".

"Honestly, we had a hard day yesterday and it was a big improvement today", he continued.

Hamilton won his fourth title in Mexico a year ago after starting third and then having to fight back from last to ninth following an opening lap collision with Vettel, who had been on pole but lost out to Verstappen.

As for his prospects of victory tomorrow, Hamilton said he didn't think the Red Bull's pace in qualifying has been a flash in the pan, and added that he expected them to be equally strong in the race itself.

"I said coming to this event, this altitude of race brings the engines closer within the bracket of Mercedes and Ferrari", he said.

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