Verstappen top in Mexico first practice

Lewis Hamilton celebrates

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.

Toto Wolff concedes Mercedes will have to solve a power issue as Lewis Hamilton aims to secure the Formula One World Championship at the Mexican Grand Prix.

The Red Bulls got their first front-row pairing since before the era of hybrid engines started in 2014. "We had a hard day yesterday and it was a big improvement today so obviously, yesterday we were much, much further back so I wasn't expecting to be up as high as we got but the team did a great job last night in analyzing and moving forward today".

Verstappen fumed as Ricciardo celebrated, but Hamilton - in third - was considerably happier as he qualified ahead of title rival Vettel to edge towards the drivers' championship. "We'll see - it's a long race". It's also Ricciardo's first pole since his victory in Monaco.

"I am really happy with it", he said.

"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".

Although Hamilton missed the opportunity to clinch his fifth crown last week, a finish of seventh or higher will be enough in Mexico City even if Vettel wins the race.

"It was not a very clean lap", said Vettel.

"The behaviour was not correct", he continued, "we couldn't do anything in qualifying so I had to go forward on the brake balance to try to stabilise the whole auto".

"I knew it was there somewhere".

"It was very close".

"Obviously dropping back to fourth from second is not satisfying, but we will see what we can do tomorrow. We have great straight-line speed so maybe we can do something into turn one and then go from there". "It's not about one particular area - there are lots of different things that we can improve".

What the German won't want to do is repeat the start he made here a year ago - 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.

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