PRESS RELEASE/Aston Martin Red Bull Racing – Photo: RBR Facebook
DANIEL RICCIARDO, Position: P1 – 1:14.759 (Practice 3 – P4 1:17.028)
“As you can probably tell, I’m pretty happy right now. I know it’s only qualifying but actually it’s pretty special and this is only the third time in my career that I’ve been on pole. Every other time was Monaco, it starts with an M but this time it’s Mexico. Putting the lap together right at the very end, when Max had dominated in practice and then Mercedes came on so strong made it even more exciting. I don’t think anyone expected me to do it but I knew there was some extra speed in me and I’m happy to have found it. I knew I could clean up my first lap in Q3 and the first sector on my second lap was still average, but in the second sector I was building and I was pretty pumped up by the third. It feels awesome to be back at the front and it feels right. It’s been a challenging year and I’ve been wanting to finish on a high with Red Bull, so hopefully my run of poor fortune has come to an end and we can deliver what we all want tomorrow. This is the first front row lockout for the Team since 2013 so it’s a really big day for us all. I don’t think it will be a straightforward race and it will certainly be interesting, but hopefully it will be interesting for all the right reasons. It’s going to be a good fight with Max, Lewis and Seb but if we can convert a double front row into a double podium then the entire Team will leave Mexico very happy.”
MAX VERSTAPPEN, Position: P2 – 1:14.785 (Practice 3 – P1 1:16.284)
“It’s really disappointing to be consistently the fastest all weekend, and then not when it counts. I felt comfortable going into qualifying but I soon experienced similar issues that I had felt in FP2, the rear was locking while I was off throttle during cornering. I felt like I couldn’t push the car to its limit, which you need to do in Q3 as it is the most important session. I was surprised to be on top of the time sheet at the start of Q3 but in the end it wasn’t enough to take the pole. The issue should be less influential tomorrow which means we can both have a good race. Given today’s frustration we are still in really strong shape going into Sunday, it’s just a shame to miss the pole. The fact we have locked out the front row for the first time in years is a brilliant result for the Team, you can’t beat first and second.”
CHRISTIAN HORNER, Team Principal:
“Amazing! An incredible last lap from Daniel which really seemed to come from nowhere. On the last run to be able to string together a perfect lap was a mighty performance. Another great lap from Max, who has looked so competitive all weekend meant we locked out the front row for the first time since Austin 2013, a phenomenal team performance. Our priority now has to be to try and convert these fantastic grid positions into a haul of points tomorrow. The Team has worked very hard for this so it is crucial that we now make the most of it.”
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