F1:Lewis Hamilton outqualifies Sebastian Vettel in Mexico

F1:Lewis Hamilton outqualifies Sebastian Vettel in Mexico

F1:Lewis Hamilton outqualifies Sebastian Vettel in Mexico

DANIEL Ricciardo's smile beamed its brightest in months while his Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen steamed after qualifying for the Mexican Grand Prix.

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.

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.

In contrast, Ricciardo, who has endured a miserable run of form since winning May's Monaco GP, was overjoyed at claiming what is likely to be his final Red Bull pole position before leaving for Renault.

Lewis Hamilton, meanwhile, looked completely comfortable knowing he's in a flawless spot to win his fifth career Formula One championship.

A seventh-place finish will secure the Briton's fifth career title, matching the late Juan Manuel Fangio of Argentina for second behind only the seven of Germany's Michael Schumacher.

"We had a hard day yesterday and today was a big improvement".

"I'm really, really happy with it", said Hamilton. "We hadn't had the cleanest run through practice and I just knew putting the lap together would be crucial as always", said Ricciardo, who whooped in delight as he realised what he had done.

Verstappen continued: "So we couldn't do anything throughout qualifying, so I just had to lock a lot of tools, go forward on the brake balance to try and stabilise the whole vehicle". Yesterday we really were struggling. "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". "Qualifying was pretty good for me". "I think the Red Bulls with the Renault (engines) made a step forwards".

But it is Red Bull and Max Verstappen who were quickest in the practice sessions, with Hamilton's title rival Sebastian Vettel also going quick for Ferrari. "We tried to make the best of it, I thought we had enough but it's still good to be second". With the Renaults performing strongly and set to start tomorrow's race from seventh and eighth, fourth in the constructors' championship looks to be a pipe dream for the American team.

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