US GP: Verstappen snatches pole ahead of Hamilton in Austin

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Max Verstappen ensured he would be starting on pole position despite a valiant effort by Lewis Hamilton in qualifying at the United States Grand Prix.

Red Bull clearly had the single lap pace advantage over Mercedes in Austin, with their performance in the first and last sector negating Mercedes' power on the straights.

However, Hamilton didn't give up and almost clinched P1 before Verstappen ended the Brackley-based team's run of six straight poles at Circuit of the Americas.

Sergio Perez looked like claiming his first pole initially in Q3, instead the Mexican will start third and in the perfect place to support his teammate.


Charles Leclerc set the pace by two-tenths ahead of the two Red Bulls at the front.

Further down, Lance Stroll was the first driver eliminated in 16th, fractionally quicker than Nicholas Latifi in the Williams.

Kimi Raikkonen followed in 18th, with the two Haas' bringing up the field, Mick Schumacher in front of teammate Nikita Mazepin.


With high tyre wear expected, the mediums were the tyre of choice to start the race with Verstappen going a third of a second faster than Hamilton.

Perez and Daniel Ricciardo were under pressure after having their first laps deleted for exceeding track limits, however, both would recover to finish in the top 10.

A late flier for Yuki Tsunoda saw him make Q3 for the second straight race, pushing Esteban Ocon out in 11th.

Sebastian Vettel was 12th but will drop to 18th ahead of Fernando Alonso and George Russell as all three take grid penalties for new power units.

That moves Antonio Giovinazzi up to P12, as well as the Q1 drivers of Stroll, Latifi, Raikkonen, Schumacher and Mazepin.


Perez surprised Verstappen by going fastest by just 0.019s after the first run of Q3 ahead of the two Mercedes'.

Hamilton then went quickest initially on his second run only for mighty Max to find another two-tenths and secure pole for the race on Sunday.

Perez couldn't improve and had to settle for third ahead of Valtteri Bottas, the Finn dropping to ninth with his engine penalty.

That promotes Charles Leclerc up to fourth as the two Ferraris led both McLarens, Daniel Ricciardo just getting the better of teammate Lando Norris.

Pierre Gasly will start P8 as AlphaTauri teammate Tsunoda wrapped up the top 10.

A thrilling qualifying battle that sets up a very tasty run to Turn 1 on Sunday. It promises to be a US GP you cannot miss.

Full results from qualifying can be seen below: