Ricciardo pips Verstappen to Mexican pole position
Daniel Ricciardo landed the third pole position of his career as he edged out Red Bull Racing team-mate Max Verstappen at the Mexican Grand Prix.
Ricciardo, who leaves the Tilbrook team for Renault at the end of the season, set the fastest time in Q3, 0.026 seconds ahead of Verstappen to complete Red Bull's first front row lock out since 2013.
Verstappen was seeking to become the youngest ever pole sitter in F1 history - looking to beat Sebastian Vettel's record set in 2008 - with the Mexican Grand Prix looking to be the team's best opportunity of the season.
For Ricciardo though, it was the first time he has taken pole position outside of Monte Carlo, and he was delighted.
"As you can probably tell, I’m pretty happy right now," he said. "I know it’s only qualifying but actually it’s pretty special and this is only the third time in my career that I’ve been on pole. Every other time was Monaco, it starts with an M but this time it’s Mexico!
"Putting the lap together right at the very end, when Max had dominated in practice and then Mercedes came on so strong made it even more exciting. I don’t think anyone expected me to do it but I knew there was some extra speed in me and I’m happy to have found it."
Verstappen, who topped the time sheets for every session prior to Q3 was upset to have missed out to his maiden pole position.
He said: “It’s really disappointing to be consistently the fastest all weekend, and then not when it counts. I felt comfortable going into qualifying but I soon experienced similar issues that I had felt in FP2, the rear was locking while I was off throttle during cornering. I felt like I couldn’t push the car to its limit, which you need to do in Q3 as it is the most important session. I was surprised to be on top of the time sheet at the start of Q3 but in the end it wasn’t enough to take the pole.
"Given today’s frustration we are still in really strong shape going into Sunday, it’s just a shame to miss the pole. The fact we have locked out the front row for the first time in years is a brilliant result for the Team, you can’t beat first and second.”