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Ricciardo qualifies fourth at Mexican GP

Associated Press Associated Press 29/10/2016

Daniel Ricciardo will start from fourth on the grid at the Mexican Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton grabbed pole position for Sunday's (Monday's AEDT) race ahead of Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg, while Australian Ricciardo's Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen qualified third.

Ricciardo is chasing a second consecutive podium finish after his third at last week's US Grand Prix won by Hamilton.

The qualifying result in Mexico on Saturday comes after Rosberg rallied from difficult practice sessions to join Hamilton at the front of the starting grid.

Hamilton earned pole for the second week in a row as he pushes to cut Rosberg's 26-point lead in the driver's championship with just three races left.

"I'm going to try to do the same thing I did last Sunday," Hamilton said of his victory at the US Grand Prix.

"The car feels great."

Rosberg's leap into second position came just as the qualifying expired. And it came after three practice sessions when he struggled to match his rival's pace.

Late into qualifying, it looked like Rosberg would be locked out of the front row for the first time since Japan in 2015.

Earning the front row start is critical.

Even if Hamilton wins, Rosberg's lead is big enough that he can clinch the title by finishing second twice and third once in the final three races of the season.

That would match the 1982 season championship won by his father Keke Rosberg .

Rosberg's best lap of was 0.254 seconds slower than Hamilton.

"Lewis' lap was brilliant, not so much mine," Rosberg said.

"I put it together in the end though."

Hamilton has been in top form chasing Rosberg of late.

His win in Texas kept alive his slim title homes with hopes he can keep pressuring Rosberg into a mistake.

Force India's Nico Hulkenberg qualified fifth ahead of the Ferrari duo of Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel.

A Hamilton victory Sunday would be career win No. 51, tying him with Alain Prost for the second-most in Formula One. Michael Schumacher holds the record with 91.

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