Ricciardo took the pole in Mexico, Red Bull on the front row

Ricciardo took the pole in Mexico, Red Bull on the front row

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Daniel Ricciardo
Daniel Ricciardo, Photo: Charles Coates/Red Bull Content Pool

Daniel Ricciardo beat Red Bull team-mate Max Verstappen by just 0.026s to steal pole position during a thrilling qualifying for the Mexican Grand Prix.

Verstappen headed the pack after the first runs in Q3 at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, while Ricciardo held fourth. But on the final efforts Ricciardo beat his team-mate’s benchmark by just 0.026s to snatch top spot, while Verstappen failed to improve.

It rewarded Ricciardo with his third career pole position, and the first time he has led a qualifying session outside of Monaco. Verstappen’s original benchmark was still sufficient for second spot. It marked Red Bull’s first front-row lockout since 2013.

World Champion Lewis Hamilton was third, 0.135s behind Ricciardo.

While sole title rival Sebastian Vettel will line up alongside in fourth position, finished just 0.211s down on his former team-mate.

Valtteri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen took fifth and sixth respectively. They are behind their title-contending team-mates. All six of the front-runners will start the race on the purple-ringed Ultrasoft tyre after successfully negotiating Q2 on that compound.

Renault and Sauber filled out the remaining Q3 positions, as Nico Hulkenberg comfortably led the way in the midfield battle.

He is followed by Renault team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr., while Charles Leclerc maintained a gap over Sauber stablemate Marcus Ericsson.

Force India trialled Supersofts and Ultrasofts in Q2 and used the purple-banded tyre in a bid to make Q3. But Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez were left 11th and 13th respectively.

Fernando Alonso secured an encouraging 12th for McLaren, with Brendon Hartley the slowest of the 14 Q2 runners, having made a mistake into Turn 12 on his final lap.

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