Daniel Ricciardo snatches Mexico GP pole position from Redbull teammate Max Verstappen


Max Verstappen and his Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo dominated Friday's opening practice for this weekend's Mexican Grand Prix.

Hamilton settled for a spot on the second row of the grid behind Red Bull pair Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen.

Lewis Hamilton will start from third place alongside Sebastian Vettel, and while Red Bull has shown competitive pace throughout the weekend, the long run to Turn 1 is not a strength for the team.

"I knew it was there somewhere. It's been well executed, we just need to convert it [into a win]".

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"As soon as we got into qualifying, I knew straight away the way the car's feeling, I was like, "OK we're in a much stronger position to fight for position". "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 vehicle back into a sweeter spot".

It was a similar story in FP2, with Verstappen - the race victor in Mexico a year ago - going quickest with a time of one minute and 16.720 seconds ahead of Ricciardo.

"I was struggling in the qualifying", last year's race Verstappen said.

"I thought it was going to be enough with the problems we had, but it's still good to be second, so we'll see".

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Hamilton, who wants to see out the title which will draw him level with Juan Manuel Fangio with a victory, is in striking range of the Red Bulls but, crucially, ahead of his sole rival.

"To be as close as I am, I'm really quite happy", Hamilton said.

"You saw what happened previous year with the red vehicle (Ferrari) behind, so it depends how we get away".

"You have the two Red Bulls, who have the least straight-line speed, in the front row, then it's us and the Ferraris, who are obviously nearly 10kph up to everybody else".

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Water supply was restored to some residents in Panama City on Monday but Bay County officials said it was not yet safe to drink. In Mexico Beach, what had been a town of about 1,200, residents don't expect power or anything else anytime soon.

Hamilton suggested Mercedes allowed itself to be influenced by Vettel's position in the last race at Circuit of The Americas rather than focusing on simply getting the best race result, and even with only a top-seven finish required for Hamilton to become champion, Wolff insists the bigger title picture should not come into Mercedes' thinking.