Mexico City - Daniel Ricciardo upstaged his Red Bull team-mate Max
Verstappen with a dazzling record lap in the final seconds of Saturday's
thrilling qualifying shootout for the Mexican Grand Prix, as the title-chasing
Lewis Hamilton took third.
After seeing his young Dutch team-mate dominate every
practice session, the Renault-bound Australian produced a stunning riposte as
he took pole and Red Bull swept the front row of the grid.
It was their first lockout since the United States Grand
Prix in 2013 and on a day that record-breaking speed gave them the initiative
for a race won by Verstappen last year.
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
German Nico Hulkenberg was seventh ahead of his Renault
team-mate Carlos Sainz and the two Saubers of Charles Leclerc and Marcus
Verstappen had been hoping to become the youngest
pole-sitter in F1 history and was clearly disappointed at being outpaced by
"Thanks, legends," shouted a wildly happy
Ricciardo over team radio before adding later: "I knew it was in there
somewhere - I just knew the pace was in the car... Shout out to the team to
get a one-two."
Verstappen could not hide his feelings as he made a gentle
collision with a number board as he parked his car. "The whole qualifying
was crap," he said.
Hamilton, who only needs to finish seventh to secure the
championship, was satisfied with third.
"I am really happy with it," he said. "We had
a difficult day yesterday and it was a big improvement."