Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo Steals Pole for 2018 Mexican Grand Prix

Out of left field came a blazing pole lap by the Australian, giving driver No. 3 his third pole of his career.

Red Bull Racing

Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo is on pole for the 2018 Mexican Grand Prix after a cloudy, hard-fought qualifying session.

He surprised his competition with two purple sectors, knocking his teammate Max Verstappen out of position at the top despite trailing the Dutchman the rest of the weekend. Verstappen has just two Grands Prix left if he wants to become the youngest pole sitter in Formula 1 history, a record held today by Sebastian Vettel, who took pole for the 2008 Italian Grand Prix at 21 years and 72 days of age.

Red Bull Racing's two drivers locked out the front row for the first time since the 2013 United States Grand Prix, but the rest of the field was shuffled by cooler conditions than those seen in Friday practice. Mercedes-AMG and Scuderia Ferrari recovered their lost pace, securing the following four positions, trailed then by a Renault row and Alfa Romeo Sauber row consecutively.

Despite an apparent engine failure in practice, Mercedes-AMG's Valtteri Bottas will swap to a previously-used engine, dodging a penalty for an engine change. Toro Rosso-Honda's Pierre Gasly isn't as lucky, and according to Racer will take a grid penalty, hence no effort in Q2.

Local hero Sergio Perez will endure his worst starting position at his home race of his career, down in 13th. Neither he nor his teammate Esteban Ocon reached Q3 for the first time since this year's Hungarian Grand Prix.

A full index of qualifying times can be found below, including margins of improvement over each driver's final qualifying time from the 2017 Mexican Grand Prix.

  1. Daniel Ricciardo/Red Bull - 1:14.759, -2.688 from 2017
  2. Max Verstappen/Red Bull - 1:14.785, -1.789 from 2017
  3. Lewis Hamilton/Mercedes - 1:14.894, -2.040 from 2017
  4. Sebastian Vettel/Ferrari - 1:14.970, -1.518 from 2017
  5. Valtteri Bottas/Mercedes - 1:15.160, -1.798 from 2017
  6. Kimi Räikkönen/Ferrari - 1:15.330, -1.908 from 2017
  7. Nico Hülkenberg/Renault - 1:15.827, -1.639 from 2017
  8. Carlos Sainz Jr./Renault - 1:16.084, -1.710 from 2017
  9. Charles Leclerc/Alfa Romeo Sauber - 1:16.189
  10. Marcus Ericsson/Alfa Romeo Sauber - 1:16.513, -2.663 from 2017
  11. Esteban Ocon/Force India - 1:16.844, -0.566 from 2017
  12. Fernando Alonso/McLaren - 1:16.871, -0.839 from 2017
  13. Sergio Perez/Force India - 1:17.167, -0.640 from 2017
  14. Brendon Hartley/Toro Rosso-Honda - 1:17.184, -1.499 from 2017
  15. Pierre Gasly/Toro Rosso-Honda - No Q2 time
  16. Romain Grosjean/Haas - 1:16.911, -2.562 from 2017
  17. Stoffel Vandoorne/McLaren - 1:16.966, -1.612 from 2017
  18. Kevin Magnussen/Haas - 1:17.599, -1.844 from 2017
  19. Lance Stroll/Williams - 1:17.689, -1.470 from 2017
  20. Sergey Sirotkin/Williams - 1:17.886
How "Dirty Air" Ruins Racing Drivers' Day
The Drive