Australian Daniel Ricciardo thwarted Red Bull team mate Max Verstappen's hopes of becoming Formula One's youngest ever pole-sitter on Saturday with a lightning qualifying lap at the Mexican Grand Prix. "We had a hard day yesterday, and it was a big improvement".
"We had the same problems from practice yesterday". FP1 was OK but then once we got to FP2 it was not fun to drive, that's for sure. "It was the same problems from P2, the engine braking not how I want to, rear-locking the vehicle".
"So big changes and improvements were made overnight and to come back in today and put us in contention all of a sudden". We have been quick all weekend from start. I think we got more or less everything out of the auto.
"I'm just glad that I was able to do the job, improve on my second run". It's been a while since I've had a good weekend in general.
Disappointed though he was to miss out on pole, he seemed genuinely delighted for the man who did.
"I was not expecting to be up as high as we have done", said the Briton. "Being behind the Red Bulls is not a bad thing".
Hamilton, who is set to match the five titles won by late Argentine Juan Manuel Fangio in the 1950s, was fifth and seventh respectively and complaining of heavy tyre wear. Past year he recovered to come home fourth, over a minute behind race victor Verstappen.
In recent weeks, Ricciardo has been beset with a raft of auto issues, with his early retirement from last weekend's U.S. Grand Prix leading Horner to question why Renault was continuing to allow his run of reliability issues given his imminent move from Red Bull in 2019.
"I thought it was going to be enough with the problems we had, but it's still good to be second, so we'll see".
"I think it really depends how we get away, but third place is a nice place to start", he continued. "Obviously on all three occasions I wasn't clearly ahead, at best side-by-side, so as I said, maybe next time I try the outside". "I am wary of the Red Bulls ahead".
"[Our] race pace was not so bad yesterday but those guys again were in their own league in that section", he admitted. I knew there was a bit more in it and we squeezed it out at the end. I held a lot in.