Verstappen, who won in Mexico past year, looked set to become the youngest pole-sitter in F1 history as he was on provisional pole before the final flying laps at the high-altitude Hermanos Rodriguez circuit.
Ricciardo made sure to applaud his Red Bull teammate for ensuring the team had a lock on the front row of the grid for the first time in five years.
Lewis in prime position: While Hamilton was unable to score Mercedes' 100th pole position in F1, the champion-elect is in the prime position for Sunday's race, and on course, to secure his fifth world title. The Ferrari driver must win the race to stay in the hunt, while all Hamilton has to do is finish seven or better to put things beyond doubt.
"We had a hard day yesterday, and it was a big improvement".
"I am really happy with it", he said.
Verstappen continued: "So we couldn't do anything throughout qualifying, so I just had to lock a lot of tools, go forward on the brake balance to try and stabilise the whole auto".
"Congratulations to Daniel. These guys were just too quick". "Considering how bad yesterday was for us, and so I really want to say a big thank you to everyone who's back at the factory who've been working hard overnight and also the guys here, to rectify the issues we've had and get the vehicle back into a sweeter spot".
Ricciardo memorably said earlier this year that he chose to "lick the stamp and send it" for a decisive pass on Valtteri Bottas for the win in China. "I mean, that's what we're here to do, is to race". "Qualifying was pretty good for me".
Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, the only man that can deny Hamilton the title, starts from fourth and must win if he has any hope of extending the championship to the next race in Brazil. I had some snaps here and there, but it just didn't come together so I'm quite happy though.
"We tried to make the best of it and I thought it was going to be enough with the problems we had, but it's still good to be second".
"Obviously dropping back to fourth from second is not satisfying, but we will see what we can do tomorrow".