Hamilton says Red Bull are 'out of reach'

28 October, 2018, 19:17 | Author: Isabel Grant
  • Hamilton says Red Bull are 'out of reach'

"Considering how bad yesterday was for us, and so I really want to say a big thank you to everyone who's back at the factory who've been working hard overnight and also the guys here, to rectify the issues we've had and get the auto back into a sweeter spot".

Verstappen fumed as Ricciardo celebrated, but Hamilton - in third - was considerably happier as he qualified ahead of title rival Vettel to edge towards the drivers' championship.

The Dutchman, who is seeking to repeat his 2017 victory at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, clocked a fastest lap in one minute and 16.656 to outpace Ricciardo by 0.4 seconds. "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'm tripping major nut-sack right now, shout out to the team to get a one-two", Ricciardo told Sky Sports.

Verstappen was rather less excited.

"The whole qualifying was c**p", said the 21-year-old. Yesterday we really were struggling. I think it will be decided over strategy and tyres: "how confident you are at the end of the stints, how much you can push - so we'll have to wait and see".

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The Renault factory team have been well off Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull this season, but Sainz and teammate Nico Hulkenberg, who finished fifth, could be contenders in Mexico after their surprise pace in practice.

The German, 70 points behind Hamilton with only 75 to play for, finished fourth, 1.23 seconds slower than the speedy Red Bulls.

"We saw what happened past year with the red auto behind, so I don't know what will happen at the start tomorrow", he added. Previous year he recovered to come home fourth, over a minute behind race victor Verstappen.

"They are fragile as hell as we can see, and it will be about making sure we have a strategy that can stay ahead of the Ferrari and Mercedes".

"It depends how we get away, but I am going to be fighting to gain a position".

Fernando Alonso had been eliminated from first qualifying at the previous three races, but the soon-to-be-departing double world champion provided some respite for McLaren by qualifying 12th.

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