Lewis Hamilton says Red Bull in 'league of their own' in Mexico

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Having seen teammate Max Verstappen go quickest in all three qualifying sessions and then set the fastest time at the beginning of the Q3 fight for pole, Ricciardo leapt from fourth to first at the final attempt to deny the Dutchman the chance to become the youngest driver to ever achieve the feat.

"I think we are able to run the vehicle in its optimum state and we've got a power unit that this weekend looks competitive relative to the others". "We had a hard day yesterday and it was a big improvement today so obviously, yesterday we were much, much further back so I wasn't expecting to be up as high as we got but the team did a great job last night in analyzing and moving forward today".

"The engines are struggling for air, the brakes, the cooling. we're running the same wing as (slow and twisty) Monaco and we've got the same downforce as (high-speed) Monza", said Red Bull boss Christian Horner.

"I'm really happy for Daniel", he insisted.

"Those guys (Red Bull) are in a league of their own", he said.

World championship leader Hamilton, seeking to clinch his fifth drivers' title, was third for Mercedes ahead of his only rival Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari, with Valtteri Bottas fifth in the second Mercedes and Kimi Raikkonen sixth. "The team did a great job yesterday, this was as good as I could get".

Hamilton said his Mercedes felt like a completely different auto than it had done 24 hours previously. "Just happy to put together a good run".

Hamilton won his fourth title in Mexico previous year after starting third and then having to fight back from last to ninth following an opening lap collision with Vettel, who had been on pole but lost out to Verstappen. We have improved the vehicle so I'm hoping tomorrow we can still give it a fight and if we're able to gain any ground at the beginning, then game on!

"I didn't feel good at all".

Asked if Red Bull can fix the problems they've experienced before tomorrow, Verstappen added: "I'm not sure but I'll try".

"We tried to make the best of it and I thought it was going to be enough for pole with the problems we had". "I think the Red Bulls with the Renault (engines) made a step forwards". "It's not about one particular area - there are lots of different things that we can improve".