News Vettel hoping Red Bulls 'will beat themselves' on Sunday

News Vettel hoping Red Bulls 'will beat themselves' on Sunday

Verstappen, who won in Mexico a year ago, looked set to become the youngest pole-sitter in F1 history as he was on provisional pole before the final flying laps at the high-altitude Hermanos Rodriguez circuit.

World championship leader Hamilton, seeking to clinch his fifth drivers' title, was third for Mercedes ahead of his only rival Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari, with Valtteri Bottas fifth in the second Mercedes and Kimi Raikkonen sixth.

The Red Bulls got their first front-row pairing since before the era of hybrid engines started in 2014. To win the drivers' title, Vettel would need to win the three remaining races while hoping that Hamilton's Mercedes, one of the most reliable cars on the grid, delivers no more than four points in those same grands prix. It is the first time Ricciardo out-qualified Verstappen on a penalty-free weekend for Red Bull since his last pole position, at May's Monaco Grand Prix, which he won.

Speaking about his approach to the start of the Grand Prix with the long 900 meter run down to turn one, Hamilton admitted that he has one eye on the championship rather than the Grand Prix saying, "We saw what happened a year ago with the red auto behind, so I don't know".

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

It was then that Ricciardo pulled out a rapid lap of 1:14.759, which was more than a second better than his best times from the first and second qualifying runs.

"The whole qualifying was crap", the youngster told the global television audience.

"We tried to make the best of it and I thought it was going to be enough for pole with the problems we had".

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. I'm happy with what we have achieved (in qualifying), and now it's about carrying it through. "The team did a great job yesterday, this was as good as I could get".

Immediately after qualifying, Hamilton was asked if he would take a cautious approach to Turn 1, and replied: "Well you saw what happened previous year with the red vehicle behind, so I don't know".

"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".

All Hamilton needs to do in order to wrap up the championship is to finish seventh in Sunday's race regardless of where Vettel finishes.

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