Hamilton admits Red Bull 'in a league of their own' in Mexico

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Last year's race victor looked a good bet to become the youngest driver on pole position in Saturday's qualifying with the 21-year-old Dutchman impressively quick at the high-altitude circuit. I knew the pace was in the vehicle as Max had shown all weekend from start to finish, so I knew it was all about putting a clean lap together at the end. "Considering how bad yesterday was for us, and so I really want to say a big thank you to everyone who's back at the factory who've been working hard overnight and also the guys here, to rectify the issues we've had and get the vehicle back into a sweeter spot".

Shock: Since winning the Monaco Grand Prix back in May, Daniel Ricciardo has not finished on the podium, and he has been convincingly outperformed by teammate Max Verstappen.

Speaking about his approach to the start of the Grand Prix with the long 900 meter run down to turn one, Hamilton admitted that he has one eye on the championship rather than the Grand Prix saying, "We saw what happened a year ago with the red auto behind, so I don't know".

"I am really happy with it", he said.

"That's as good as I could get but I'm really happy for Daniel, he's done a great job so congratulations to him and of course, being behind the Red Bulls is not a bad thing". It's been a while since I've had a good weekend in general.

Although Hamilton missed the opportunity to clinch his fifth crown last week, a finish of seventh or higher will be enough in Mexico City even if Vettel wins the race.

"Honestly, we had a hard day yesterday and it was a big improvement today", he continued. It was not a bad lap but it just didn't come together.

But it is Red Bull and Max Verstappen who were quickest in the practice sessions, with Hamilton's title rival Sebastian Vettel also going quick for Ferrari.

"I think we probably have the best reliability so far".

Hamilton said his Mercedes felt like a completely different auto than it had done 24 hours previously. We have improved the auto 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!

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

"I said coming to this event, this altitude of race brings the engines closer within the bracket of Mercedes and Ferrari", he said.