Verstappen eyes Mexican victory after qualifying second

Max Verstappen, left, will start from second place, behind Sebastian Vettel, centre, and ahead of Lewis Hamilton, right.
Max Verstappen, left, will start from second place, behind Sebastian Vettel, centre, and ahead of Lewis Hamilton, right.

Max Verstappen believes he has the pace to win Sunday's Mexican Grand Prix despite being pipped to pole position by Sebastian Vettel.

The German was less than a tenth of a second ahead of Verstappen's Red Bull in qualifying, but the Dutchman appeared to have the edge over the rest of the field.

Pole position would have seen Verstappen become the youngest ever driver to start from the front, but despite starting second, he feels he has the pace to win on Sunday.

"We are usually quicker in the race than qualifying so I am excited for tomorrow," said Verstappen, 20. "At the end of the day we are still second and on the front row so no big issue. It is always nice to get a pole position but winning the race is more important.

"I am confident in the race pace of the car and that we can achieve a good result but we still have to show this tomorrow. Starting on the front row with such a long run into Turn 1 means we can hopefully get away well and ahead."

Meanwhile it was disappointment for Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, who could only manage seventh despite topping the timing sheets earlier in the weekend.

He said: "If we can get the car back to what we had before qualifying then I think we can still fight for a podium tomorrow, but this is confusing and we really need to understand what happened in the last hour.

"Every time I left the pits today I just had no grip."