Daniel Ricciardo quotes 21 Jump Street after shock Mexico pole

The euphoria at Red Bull Racing was nearly enough to overshadow Lewis Hamilton qualifying third, which will be enough to win him his fifth world title if he holds that position to the end of the race.

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton, of Britain, left, is congratulated by Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel, of Germany, after Hamilton became Formula One champion in the Mexico Grand Prix auto race at the Hermanos Rodriguez racetrack in Mexico City, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2018.

He got a poor start, and the young Dutchman capitalised, as did Lewis Hamilton from the second row, knowing that a top seven finish would be enough to secure him the drivers' championship. "If I get a good tow from these guys and there's an opportunity to overtake I'm going to take it". He qualified third and Vettel fourth behind the Red Bulls led by Daniel Ricciardo on pole.

The 33-year-old Briton, who will win his fifth drivers' title if he outscores the German by five points, or if Vettel fails to win, said he wants to avoid a repeat of their collision on last year's opening lap. "I would have loved to hang in there a little bit longer". Vettel will start from fourth and has to win on Sunday to have any chance of taking the title battle on to Brazil.

"Does it mean I have to play safe at the beginning of the race?"

Red Bull had dominated qualifying to earn its first 1-2 start of the hybrid engine era, but pole-sitter Daniel Ricciardo was beaten off the line by Verstappen and Hamilton.

"Credit where credit's due", said Horner after Sunday's race.

But the 21-year-old endured no such problem in the closing laps of a race he led for the most part, having built up a cushion of nearly 15 seconds over Vettel.

But there was a sour end to both his, and Red Bull's, impressive day after the team's temperamental reliability issues struck again.

Ricciardo commented afterwards that he saw "no point" in turning up to the remaining two races as his RB14 is "cursed", and quipped he'd "let Gasly drive it".

Hamilton's quick thinking moved him through into second place nearly as soon as the lights were out, overtaking a struggling Ricciardo and setting up the rest of a competitive race nicely.

Vettel made a fight of it, finishing second to Red Bull's Max Verstappen. Number five I think is something incredible. Infuriated, Verstappen returned to the track determined to get the win and defend his 2017 race victory.

"I congratulated him, I think he drove superbly all year and was the better one of us two". But in Mexico, that sadness was replaced by anger, as Ricciardo suffered his seventh mechanically-related DNF of the season - and admitted that he was more than ready to hand over his vehicle to Pierre Gasly for 2019...

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton, of Britain, drives his vehicle during the Formula One Mexico Grand Prix auto race at the Hermanos Rodriguez racetrack in Mexico City, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2018.

  • Angelo Rivera