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Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo snatched pole position from teammate Max Verstappen at the Mexican Grand Prix on Saturday, while Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton sits in flawless position in third to win his fifth career Formula One championship.

Verstappen had been hoping to become the youngest pole-sitter in F1 history, and was clearly disappointed at being outpaced by Ricciardo.

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel must take the chequered flag to stand any chance of denying Hamilton the title, but he failed to trouble the top of the order here.

The Red Bulls got their first front-row pairing since before the era of hybrid engines started in 2014. "I tried very hard and I knew that I had to find at least two-tenths if I want to improve".

"I knew the pace was in the vehicle, Max showed that all weekend from start to finish".

"I still wasn't convinced it was the cleanest lap, but I've got to relax a little".

Verstappen lost out by 0.026, with Ricciardo setting a track record time of one minute 14.759 seconds, and he did not try and hide his disappointment.

After taking pole for the first time at a race other than Monaco, Ricciardo was ecstatic in the vehicle, leaving his engineers in stitches with his celebration, before making his push for quote of the season when being interviewed on the track.

"The whole qualifying was cr*p", he said. I think it will be decided over strategy and tyres: "how confident you are at the end of the stints, how much you can push - so we'll have to wait and see".

Hamilton will start third, knowing he can let the Red Bull cars go off and running while he coasts his Mercedes to the finish line.

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

What the German won't want to do is repeat the start he made here previous year - see video below - when P1 on the grid became eighth by the end of Lap 1 thanks to tangles with Verstappen and Hamilton through the opening turns. "We will get a good tow from the two in front so hopefully I can gain a position".

The reigning world champion - who needs to finish seventh or higher to claim a fifth title - looked out of sorts during the opening practice sessions on Friday.


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