Scuderia Ferrari German driver Sebastian Vettel has suggested the Red Bulls may self-destruct in Mexico after his former team locked out the front row.
Red Bull recorded their first-ever front row lock-out in the turbo hybrid era, but not in the order many were expecting as Daniel Ricciardo pinched pole position away from Max Verstappen in the final Q3 run.
Lewis Hamilton will line up from third on Sunday’s grid, but Vettel, alongside the Brit in P4, could only get his Ferrari to within two tenths of the Red Bulls.
“It was not a very clean flying lap,” Vettel summarised. I knew I had to find at least two tenths and it didn’t happen. It was very close. It was not a bad lap but it just didn’t come together.
“I’m quite happy though, I think we got more or less everything out of the car.
“Obviously dropping back to fourth from second is not satisfying but we’ll see what we can do tomorrow.”
Vettel then pondered whether Ricciardo and Verstappen will replicate scenes similar to Baku earlier this season when they ended each other’s race.
“We have good straight-line speed so we’ll see what we can do into Turn One and then go from there,” he added.
“I think we probably have the best reliability so far. The Red Bulls are very fast and hard to beat but maybe they will beat themselves. It’s a long race, I think it will be decided over strategy and tyres.”
Vettel must win the Mexican Grand Prix and hope Hamilton finishes P8 or lower to ensure the World Championship title battle continues in Brazil.