Red Bull Racing go into today’s Mexican Grand Prix 53 points clear of Ferrari in the race for second place in the constructors championship.
The Milton Keynes based outfit could, with a strong result today put second place beyond Ferrari’s reach with their drivers Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo starting the event in third and fourth place respectively while Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel start the race from sixth and seventh place.
Speaking after setting a qualifying time of 01:19.054s Max Verstappen commented by saying:
I am very pleased with the way qualifying went, we have put ourselves on the second row again which means we are in an ideal position to fight from the start. All weekend we have had a good car. We are still just a little down on top speed which makes it hard to compete with the Mercedes in qualifying, but we are still pretty close so that is a good achievement. My Q2 lap was really good and felt quick but I just couldn’t find the same grip levels in Q3 which meant I was slightly slower. I struggled in sector one which is usually my best sector, that shows how the grip can change in a matter of minutes. It’s still a hard lap out there, everyone is in the same position and has to adapt to the slippery conditions. It’s fun, but a different kind of fun. At some tracks you can have a perfect lap but here it is so hard. It is a long run into Turn 1 and we start on the supersoft compound so our chances of making progress straight away is high. Race pace looked strong which means we are looking forward to tomorrow.
Daniel Ricciardo set a qualifying time of 01:19.133s and speaking following the session the Australian commented by saying:
I think the fight was there but to be honest, my last lap was terrible. I was fighting it already out of Turn 1 and by Turn 6 I was nearly four tenths slower than my previous lap. We managed to recuperate some of that but looking at the gap to pole it was only four tenths so it could have been a lot better but it also could have been a lot worse. It’s just like that with a new surface, it’s still very slippery here and it’s hard to find that happy medium. In that last run in Q3 we definitely lost some performance, particularly in the first half of the lap but we’re still on the second row so that’s okay and I’ll take that. Let’s see what tomorrow brings. I think we can have a good race but to predict what’s going to happen tomorrow after this qualifying is difficult.
Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner was delighted with the performance of his drivers and speaking following qualifying he said:
An exciting qualifying and a great performance by both of our drivers to lock out the second row for the eighth time this season. We got mighty close to splitting the Mercedes with Nico just sneaking ahead of Max right at the end. In adopting a different strategy to the cars around us by starting on the supersoft tyres tomorrow it creates a strategically interesting race which should make for an exciting grand prix.