Mexico, October 27: Daniel Ricciardo denied team-mate Max Verstappen his first Formula One pole position as Red Bull claimed a one-two at the Mexican Grand Prix, where Lewis Hamilton is set to clinch the title on Sunday (October 28).
Verstappen had suggested that the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez might suit Red Bull and so it proved, but it is not the Dutchman who will lead the grid on race day after Ricciardo's late show.
It had looked as though Verstappen, 21, would become the youngest pole-sitter in F1 history as he followed up leading times in all three practice sessions with the best time in Q2 and initially in Q3.
But after Sebastian Vettel failed to top Verstappen's time, Ricciardo came storming through in a time of one minute and 14.759 seconds that his team-mate could not top.
Ricciardo will leave Red Bull for Renault at the end of the year, yet this was his second pole of the year and he will chase his third win of 2018 on Sunday.
Verstappen fumed as Ricciardo celebrated, but Hamilton - in third - was considerably happier as he qualified ahead of title rival Vettel to edge towards the drivers' championship.
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.
Meanwhile, Fernando Alonso's season - set to be his last in F1 - continued to wind down in unspectacular fashion as the two-time champion scraped into Q2 after a wobble and qualified in 12th.
1. Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) 1:14.759 2. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) +0.026s 3. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) +0.135s 4. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) +0.211s 5. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) +0.401s 6. Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) +0.571s 7. Nico Hulkenberg (Renault) +1.068s 8. Carlos Sainz Jr (Renault) +1.325s 9. Charles Leclerc (Sauber) +1.430s 10. Marcus Ericsson (Sauber) +1.754s