Ricciardo beats Verstappen to pole at Mexican Grand Prix

Formula One World Championship

Hamilton says Red Bull are 'out of reach'

Lewis Hamilton remains on course to win the Formula One world championship after qualifying third, ahead of Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, for the Mexican Grand Prix.

Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton celebrates after winning his fifth drivers' title during the F1 Mexico Grand Prix at the Hermanos Rodriguez circuit in Mexico City on October 28, 2018.

Hamilton, who only needs to finish seventh to secure the championship, was satisfied with third. I let a bit out once I heard I got pole.

The Red Bull cars have been flying all weekend in Mexico City's thin air, but for all the money, it looked as though it would be Verstappen, and not Ricciardo, who would claim 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. For the race start, it's all over the place with the pre-start.

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

After surviving what turned into a battle of attrition at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez he added: "It was a disgusting race..."

"To get a one two from a team point of view is awesome".

A white wisp of smoke expunged from the exhaust of his Renault-powered Red Bull.

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. There are still two races left in the season.

"The start was the key", Verstappen said.

"Hamilton and Vettel on the second row, side by side, with more straight-line speed than the Red Bulls in front of them - they're going to turn up into braking zone into Turn One four abreast I reckon", predicted Brundle.

"The championships have been so close, the competition of the main contenders, we have not been the quickest for considerable chunks, we have been competitive at the right spots and when we weren't competitive Lewis did enough to stay in it".

But with his able rear-gunner Kimi Raikkonen to be replaced by Charles Leclerc - the young man Ferrari believe to be their star of the future - and Hamilton going from strength-to-strength at Mercedes, it could prove Vettel's toughest fight yet.

"I have been at Mercedes since I was 13 so to complete the title, and Fangio won two championships with Mercedes, is an incredible feeling". Pierre Gasly will be taking Ricciardo's place in a promotion from Red Bull's junior team Toro Rosso. And following his fourth retirement in the last seven races, Ricciardo admitted that finding the motivation to even turn up to the remaining Grands Prix in Brazil and Abu Dhabi was a tough ask at the moment.

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