Max Verstappen managed to take pole position at the United States Grand Prix on Saturday. In an exciting qualifying session, the Red Bull Racing driver managed to take the lead with a difference of two tenths. Lewis Hamilton, the current number two in the world championship, had to settle for a second time. Sergio Perez finished third.
Q1 – Surprisingly fast McLaren
The Red Bulls are the first men up front to set times in the first qualifying session. Max Verstappen goes straight to a 1: 34.4, a big improvement over what we saw earlier this weekend. Sergio Perez closes in a half-tenth, while the Mercedes have to settle for a P5 and a P6.
It has everything to do with the speed of Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris. The first set the fastest time, although former teammate Verstappen immediately won on his second run. In any case, orange cars look fast. However, this also applies to Ferraris, because in the final phase Leclerc goes up to a 1: 34.1 and therefore to a P1. At the bottom of the grid, it is the “usual suspects” who are struggling.
The Haas F1 drivers are not involved again and for Mick Schumacher (P19) and Nikita Mazepin (P20) it ends again in Q1. The advantage for the men of the American roster is that Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel and George Russell will start behind them due to grid penalties. The other withdrawals are Kimi Raikkonen, Nicholas Latifi and the disappointing Lance Stroll.
Q2 – Veel Mediums
Tire degradation is high in America so soft tires don’t seem like the compound drivers want to start their race on Sunday. So there are plenty of wrinkles on the mids. Verstappen is also among those who drive the yellow-cheeked tire, as are Perez and the two Mercedes riders.
Remarkably, the men go much faster than in Q1, while riding on harder rubber. However, Perez’s lap needs to be restarted as he is wasting his time for overstepping the limits of the track. The same goes for Daniel Ricciardo. After the first heat, Verstappen leads with an impressive time of 1.33.4. The gap with Hamilton (P2) is then three tenths.
We say goodbye to George Russell, Fernando Alonso, Antonio Giovinazzi, Sebastian Vettel and Esteban Ocon. Yuki Tsunoda, who has yet to impress in all three free practice sessions, has a good Q3 for his COTA debut, as does Pierre Gasly. In addition, both Ferrari and McLaren will also continue.
Q3 – Red Bull sets the tone in the first round
The Mercedes set the first time in the first six minutes, but Verstappen then plunged almost three tenths. However, it is Perez who takes the lead, as he is nineteen thousandths (!) Faster than his Dutch teammate. The Ferraris are in 5th and 6th place after the first round, the McLarens in the 7th and 8th and the fifth row goes to AlphaTauri.
The final result after the second round:
4. Bottas (receives a penalty of five grid places)
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