An amazing final flying lap for Max Verstappen in USA Grand Prix and he will start ahead of Lewis Hamilton (P2) and Sergio Perez (P3). We struggled through qualifying and from P1 fell back a little bit. I was happy with the last lap and we pretty much gave it everything we had – hopefully it’ll be a good race down to Turn One, Lewis Hamilton say.
Sergio Perez, who lines up third on the grid:
“We were really close on that lap. I think we did a great job as a team.
Unfortunately, my final lap wasn’t as good throughout the lap. I was good in the first sector but I wasn’t able to keep it up. I think the rain hit me a bit too hard in the final sector.
“There were spots of rain and I lost a bit of grip in two corners and I could see my delta dropping off.
“Tomorrow is a very long race, that’s why qualifying doesn’t really matter. There will be a lot of degradation on the tyres but looking forward to it.”
Lewis Hamilton, who starts second:
“Well, first of all I wanna acknowledge this great crowd this weekend and every time – we always have an amazing crowd and fortunately good weather.
“We struggled through qualifying and from P1 fell back a little bit. I was happy with the last lap and we pretty much gave it everything we had – hopefully it’ll be a good race down to Turn One.
“Mindset is to win the race and give these guys the best race they’ve seen.”
Max Verstappen, who starts on pole position:
“It was quite exciting out there.
“In Q3 my first lap wasn’t amazing but in the final lap it starting spitting, like a little drizzle in the last sector especially, so not sure if I was going to hang onto my lap time but it was enough. P1 and P3 for the team was a strong performance.” “I guess that’s that people like. From here onwards we hope to have a good start and work together as a team and have the best possible result.”
Max Verstappen responded to a bold lap from title rival Lewis Hamilton to take pole position at Austin’s Circuit of The Americas in front of an ecstatic 120,000 sell-out crowd…
Verstappen looked quick in final practice – his Red Bull team appearing to have made big gains overnight – and carried that through to qualifying, where he absorbed pressure from Hamilton to take pole with a 1m32.910s.
Mercedes came to Austin having taken every pole during the hybrid turbo era, which began in 2014, but they looked to have lost their edge early in qualifying, with Hamilton 0.399s off the pace in Q2.
Somehow, Hamilton found more pace in the final runs of Q3, and was a quarter of a second up after two sectors, but lost time in the third, and while he took provisional pole by a fraction, Verstappen was running quicker behind him.
Despite light rain starting to fall in the final few seconds, Verstappen kept his foot in and carried the momentum through the final sequence of corners to take pole, with his team mate Sergio Perez third.
The second Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas was fourth, however he’ll drop to ninth courtesy of a five-place grid penalty for exceeding his engine allocation. That’ll promote Charles Leclerc one place to fourth, the Ferrari driver edging out team mate Carlos Sainz.
Daniel Ricciardo was the leading McLaren in eighth, ahead of team mate Lando Norris, with AlphaTauri duo Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda closing out the top 10.