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Ricciardo elated, Verstappen deflated after Mexico GP qualifying

Written by  Oct 27, 2018

It was very much a tale of two Red Bull drivers at either end of the happiness spectrum after qualifying for the Mexican Grand Prix.

For Daniel Ricciardo, recent disappointments washed away with his third career pole and he earned it in remarkable fashion with an awesome final lap in Q3 to displace Max Verstappen by just 0.026s.

The smile was back for the 'Honey Badger' and he celebrated in his own unique way when speaking to David Coulthard on the grid.

“I knew the pace was in the car. Max showed that all weekend, from start to finish so I just knew it was about putting together a clean lap at the end," he said.

“I am still convinced it was not the cleanest but yeah, once I heard I got pole, I have got to relax a little, I am tripping major nut sack right now.” (No, we don't know what it means either.)

For Ricciardo, it also marked the first time he had beaten Verstappen in qualifying since Monaco, which ironically was the only place he had ever taken pole before Saturday.

“That one makes it special as well and you know, obviously, Monaco is the only place I had ever done this,” he admitted.

“To do it here, I believe it was super close with Max, I heard it was a few hundredths or thousandths.

“I mean, shoutout to the team, it is a 1-2. I don’t know the last time Red Bull got a 1-2 in qualifying.”

For Verstappen, the frustration was clear as for the second straight year at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez his bid to displace Sebastian Vettel as F1's youngest pole sitter was squashed at the last moment.

“The whole qualifying was crap,” said the 21-year-old bluntly. “Same problems from P2, engine braking not how I want to, rear-locking the car.

“We tried to make the best of it and I thought it was going to be enough with the problems we had, but it’s still good to be second.

“I’ll drive around [the problems tomorrow].”

For team boss Christian Horner, however, the Dutchman can have no excuses.

“Max had the same car and same opportunity, Daniel did the better job in Q3 and deserves the pole,” he said.

“It”s been well executed today, we’ve just got to convert it tomorrow now.”

The result marks Red Bull's first one-two in qualifying since Austin 2013 and also their first in the turbo-hybrid era.

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