Daniel Ricciardo said his exuberant celebrations after sealing pole position for the Mexican Grand Prix were not intended to "rub it in" to teammate Max Verstappen. The Australian denied his Red Bull stable-mate a record as Formula 1's youngest pole-sitter with a last-gasp effort in Mexico City.
Verstappen had looked set for pole all weekend, dominating the practice sessions, but Ricciardo pulled out a wonder lap on the final runs of Q3.
While Ricciardo was delighted, Verstappen was visibly furious and later claimed he had not slept all Saturday night due to his anger, while his father Jos added that Ricciardo's celebrations had motivated him to go on and win the race – which saw the Renault-bound Australian suffer an eight DNF of the year.
"I am not aware of that," Ricciardo said when Verstappen Sr's quotes were put to him. "I was aware Max was pissed after quali, the press conference and that you could tell he was not too pleased.
"I don't think it was really directed at me. I think anyone missing their first pole by such a small margin is going to be pissed. Even if I missed that pole, if I was in his shoes, even if it was not for my first pole, I would still be upset. That is the competitor in us.
"I didn't see it as anything personal, like I was rubbing it in.
"I was super happy because it has been a tough year. I was the underdog in that fight for pole. So to do it, I was pretty stoked.
"From his point of view, he was the favourite all weekend, topping all the sessions, and to get pipped by your teammate by two hundredths, it is going to piss you off. That is just the competitor."