Daniel Ricciardo’s pole position lap “came out of nowhere” to give the Red Bull team a 1-2 front row lineup for Sunday’s Mexican GP.
Ricciardo said his jubilant reaction after crossing the line didn’t do justice to how he was feeling to get his first F1 pole position anywhere other than Monaco.
“I’m holding a lot in,” he said. “I let a bit out once I heard I got pole, but I’ve got to save some energy for tomorrow.
“It’s been a while since getting a pole, but it’s been a while since we’ve had a good weekend in general. Super happy.
“We’ve been quick all weekend from the start, and from the team’s point of view to get a one-two in qualifying is awesome.
“We’ve got to finish the job tomorrow, but to confirm our pace in qualifying is really good.
“Max led the way through the practices, I knew there was a bit more in it and I just squeezed it out at the very end.”
Ricciardo said the pole position didn’t come as a shock, although he feared he had blown his chance with an average first sector on his final run.
“I wouldn’t say I’m surprised, I knew the pace was there, it was just a matter of putting it together,” he added.
“The first sector wasn’t that good so I was surprised I got the pole after that, but I saw the second and third sectors were strong and that’s where I made the difference.
“I wasn’t convinced after the first sector, but I knew the previous lap wasn’t particularly clean and I was able to get a bit more out of it.
“I knew the fast stuff, from Turn 7 to 11, I felt I nailed that, so that gave me a good impression.
“I knew I was putting myself in with a shot, but I really wasn’t sure if it was good enough.”