MAX VERSTAPPEN, Position: 2nd, 1:16.574 (Practice 3 – Position: 1st, 1:17.113)
“Another front row qualification so I am pretty satisfied with today’s result. Q2 was really good but somehow we lost a bit in Q3 with the tyres, I couldn’t get them to work and struggled for grip. I would say the Q3 lap was better but I just didn’t have the grip from the previous session. The plan was to abort the first lap in both sessions and use that as a build lap. At the end of the day we are still second and on the front row so no big issue. It is always nice to get a pole position but winning the race is more important. I am confident in the race pace of the car and that we can achieve a good result but we still have to show this tomorrow. Starting on the front row with such a long run into Turn 1 means we can hopefully get away well and ahead. We are usually quicker in the race than Qualifying so I am excited for tomorrow.”
DANIEL RICCIARDO, Position: 7th, 1:17.447 (Practice 3 – Position 5th, 1:17.361)
“We have been strong all weekend but in Qualifying we just didn’t have any grip. I topped the times in FP2 and Max did the same this morning so we didn’t really touch the car from yesterday, but every time I left the pits today I just had no grip. We tried experimenting in Q3 and doing an extra warm-up lap to try and give the tyres something extra, but it seemed that the grip I had when I left the box, was the grip I had until the end of each run. Sometimes you get one set of tyres that you can’t turn on or warm up properly and you might lose some time, but every run it seemed to be the same story. This morning the track was really cold and we were still able to post a time on the first lap, so it should have been a breeze to get the tyres up to temperature this afternoon. If we can get the car back to what we had before Qualifying then I think we can still fight for a podium tomorrow, but this is confusing and we really need to understand what happened in the last hour.”
CHRISTIAN HORNER, Team Principal: “A really exciting Qualifying in the last session with different options taken in preparing for the timed laps. Max did a build lap on his first run and produced a fantastic lap time. Unfortunately he wasn’t able to improve on it on the second run, and Sebastian just snuck ahead by eight hundredths of a second, nonetheless starting the Mexican Grand Prix on the front row of the grid is a good place to be. Daniel struggled in the low-speed corners comparatively so we need to have a look at that, but we know he’s a great overtaker and he’ll be fighting hard tomorrow.
Luck of the Draw
Everyone likes to say there’s no such thing as luck in F1 and that outcomes are the result of deep research, intense analysis and careful strategising. As our new quiz reveals that’s a complete load of old rubbish. We present our team personnel with a set of 50 questions, the order of which shifts with each race, they choose 10 and have to answer them, no matter what. Tough, easy, personal and just plain weird, what they get is down to the luck of the draw. This race’s lucky dipper is mechanic Oscar González.
1. When were you were happiest?
One of my best moments was when I got the job at Red Bull Racing, actually, because Formula One was always my dream. I’ve done F1 before Red Bull but doing it with a top team is great. I was with HRT before, so this is a bit different! It was a long process to get this job. I started here at the end of 2013. It was a three-month process to get the job, with three interviews, and it was a bit of a relief when I got it. I’m from Spain, so I had to move to the UK, which was a big change – country, language culture, everything. But I’m really loving it at the moment.
2. Aside from property what’s the most expensive thing you’ve bought?
Bikes. I’m a big fan of mountain bikes. Sure, I’ve bought car, but the things that hurt the most are bikes because they are very expensive. I’ve got three right now, all around five grand each. I’ve got two full-suspension bikes and the last one I bought was a hardtail. I love downhill more than anything. Wales is great for that. Otherwise I spend time in the Alps, Madeira  – dream places to ride.
3. Who was the last person to call you on your phone?
It was my mum, a couple of days ago. My mother lives in Spain obviously. I didn’t text her or anything for the last few days so she called me to find out where I am!
4. What’s the thing you most love about Formula One?
For sure, not Fridays! I guess winning. The best, for me, was last year in Barcelona – home race for me, first race for Max in the team, not expected at all, so sweet, very sweet.
5. What’s your favourite word?
I don’t know about word but lately we have a running joke in the garage that when anyone is being a bit quiet people just say “good chat”. Those are the most common words I hear at the moment.
6. What was the last gift you gave someone?
A couple of t-shirts from Red Bull Racing for a friend from Argentina who travelled all the way to Austin for the last race.
7. What was the last book you read?
I don’t remember the name, I think it was called Mount Kenya and it was my first book in English. It’s about a prison in Kenya, where a couple of prisoners are looking at the mountains around them and decide to escape just to climb the mountains and then go back to jail. Interesting. [We think the book is called No Picnic on Mount Kenya by Italian author Felice Benuzzi].
8. What’s the worst job you’ve ever done?
I used to love rallying until I worked in it! I really love it, but if it’s snowing you’re working in the snow, if it’s raining you’re out in that and if it’s really hot you’re boiling. We have way more facilities in circuit racing. I did one year of rallying and that was it. I was with Ford in the World Rally Championship in the year between HRT and Red Bull. I loved it, but this is much better.
9. What’s the best meal in the world?
Meat, definitely, any kind of steak. So I’m happy to be here in Mexico. We did a couple of steak restaurants here in Mexico City and they were really good.
10. Could you do another job?
No, definitely not. I love it so much and I think you can see that by me moving to England, learning another language, all of that. It was hard at the beginning, at least for me, to leave friends and family behind, but I did it because I love this job so much. I don’t see myself doing another job… or working with another team – write that down!