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Tuesday, 22 January, 2019

Verstappen can make up for missing Mexico pole

Ricciardo could make it a day to remember for Red Bull

Max Verstappen on track during practice for the Mexican Grand prix
1 of 1

Mexican Grand Prix
Sky Sports F1, 7pm Sunday

Top tip
Max Verstappen 5-2
A top-five finish will be enough to see Lewis Hamilton take his fourth world championship, even if pole-sitter Sebastian Vettel wins the Mexican Grand Prix.

The Mercedes driver has said he wants to take the championship by winning the race, and also that he is not bothered about wrapping up the title this weekend.

However, having qualified only third it would be understandable if Hamilton adopts a different mindset during the race.

Overtaking has proved difficult in Mexico City, so with the Mercedes having struggled while running in traffic Hamilton's best chance of victory would be a banzai move at the first corner, assuming he gets off the line well enough.

Vettel grabbed the 50th pole of his career with a superb effort at the end of qualifying to deny Max Verstappen a maiden pole position.

The Dutchman had looked to have it in the bag, but he can ease the disappointment by winning the race.

Red Bull have shown dramatic improvement in the latter part of the season and have looked more than a match for Ferrari and Mercedes most of the weekend.

After winning in Malaysia and finishing second in Japan, Verstappen's charge from 16th on the grid in Austin last week to third place at the line was soured by his demotion to fourth for cutting a corner on the last lap.

But it showed the youngster is fast, brave and at the top of his game.

Vettel is almost inevitably going to lose the championship at this race, and while a win would ease the pain, producing a race performance to match his qualifying heroics would take something really special.

Other markets
Daniel Ricciardo podium finish 7-2
Daniel Ricciardo was at a loss to explain his inability to get near teammate Verstappen's qualifying pace, but the Australian's fortunes could well improve in the race.

Ricciardo was unable to get his tyres up to effective working temperature within two laps, but that will be less of an issue in a race where he will get plenty of laps in before making his one scheduled pitstop.

Starting seventh, Ricciardo will need to clear the Force India of Esteban Ocon ahead of him early, but if he can do that then he should be in a position to attack.

Only twice this season has Ricciardo failed to make the podium when finishing a race he started in the top 15.

M Verstappen
2pts 5-2 general
D Ricciardo podium finish
1pt 7-2 bet365

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Only twice this season has Ricciardo failed to make the podium when finishing a race he started in the top 15
E.W. Terms
Sky bet