Mexican Grand Prix: Daniel Ricciardo's pole-clinching lap came out of nowhere, says Red Bull chief Christian Horner
Daniel Ricciardo upstaged his Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen as the team secured their first front-row lockout since the United States Grand Prix in 2013.
Mexico City: Red Bull team chief Christian Horner heaped praise on Daniel Ricciardo for a lap that "came out of nowhere" after he grabbed pole position on Saturday for the Mexican Grand Prix.
The big-grinning Australian upstaged his Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen as the team secured their first front-row lockout since the United States Grand Prix in 2013.
"It was a great performance by both drivers, but 'wow' what a lap by Daniel to come from nowhere really," said Horner. "To unleash that on his last run was absolutely outstanding."
Ricciardo celebrated his success with a wild and loud reaction in his car and some comments that misquoted paraphrased lines from an American action/comedy film, 21 Jump Street before he pulled himself together.
"I still wasn't convinced it was the cleanest lap, but I've got to relax a little — I'm tripping major nut-sack right now," Ricciardo said in his post-session interview after claiming his third career pole and first 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."
Horner added: "It's come right for Daniel big time today and you could hear his enthusiasm and enjoyment on the radio on the slow-down lap. It was great to hear."
Since its revival at the Circuit of the Americas outside of Austin in 2012, the US Grand Prix has featured strong crowds and some nifty racing on the state-of-the-art, 3.4-mile road course.
Verstappen, who leads Hamilton by six points in the championship race, claimed his ninth pole of 2021 with a time of 1min 32.910sec, just two tenths faster than the British driver.
Hamilton trails the effervescent Dutch driver by 12 points after finishing second to Verstappen in the United States Grand Prix on Sunday.