Daniel Ricciardo's 'mighty' pole lap stuns Red Bull boss Christian Horner

Sebastian Vettel's deflated team radio after disappointing Mexico GP practice

Verstappen, who won in Mexico previous year, 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.

"The grid has the potential for carnage on the straight and through the first corners, because you have the two Red Bulls who have the least straight-line speed on the front row, and then it's us and then the Ferraris are obviously nearly 10kph up on everyone else", said Wolff (pictured above, middle, with technical director James Allison, left, and chief race engineer Andy Shovlin). "We hadn't had the cleanest run through practice and I just knew putting the lap together would be crucial as always", said Ricciardo, who whooped in delight as he realised what he had done. "I try to visualise how that could like down the straight [opens arms out wide] and through the first corner, I just hope we come out of it with two cars intact".

"I've got to relax a little".

Horner insisted that Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen would be free to race, but he would also remind them that as a matter of principle a victory isn't conquered in the first corner.

But after Sebastian Vettel failed to top Verstappen's time, Ricciardo came storming through in a time of one minute and 14.759 seconds that his team-mate could not top.

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

"I thought it was going to be enough with the problems we had, but it's still good to be second, so we'll see".

Behind the Red Bulls all eyes will be on the title contenders, with Hamilton in the stronger position after a hard few days for Mercedes.

"To be as close as I am, I'm really quite happy", Hamilton said. "The team did a great job yesterday, this was as good as I could get".

Therefore, the Renault in the back of Verstappen's Red Bull - usually inferior to the might of Mercedes and Ferrari - is on a more competitive playing field this weekend.

The reigning world champion - who needs to finish seventh or higher to claim a fifth title - looked out of sorts during the opening practice sessions on Friday.

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