Skip to content

Carlos Sainz on United States Grand Prix pole, ahead of Max Verstappen

  • by

Carlos Sainz took pole position for the United States Grand Prix, beating Ferrari team-mate Charles Leclerc and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.

Red Bull’s Sergio Perez, who has a five-place grid penalty, was fourth ahead of Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton.

The penalties mean Hamilton will start third behind Sainz and Verstappen.

After qualifying, Verstappen paid tribute to Red Bull co-owner Dietrich Mateschitz, who died earlier on Saturday at the age of 78.

Verstappen, who will equal the all-time record for wins in a season if he triumphs on Sunday, said: “It’s been hard news for everyone. What he has done for Red Bull and the sport and especially for me, it has been a very tough day.

“We tried to give it all in qualifying but there is still a race ahead and we are going to try to make him proud tomorrow.

“Our car normally in the race is a bit stronger than in qualifying. Today it was very fine margins. If you could switch your tyres on a bit better, it could have made a difference. But we are there and I am expecting a good race tomorrow.”

Sainz said: “It was a lot of fun. Very tricky with the winds we have today, very gusty, every corner is an adventure, you don’t know how much grip you are going to get at each corner.

“For tomorrow, Red Bull are still favourites. They have better race pace. They usually get us in races but we are going to do everything we can to stay ahead and win the race.”

Did Hamilton miss an opportunity?

Hamilton had been third after the first runs in final qualifying on Mercedes’ most competitive performance since the Dutch Grand Prix back in early September.

He was ahead of Verstappen after the first runs in the final part of qualifying but made a mistake at the start of his final lap and dropped down as he failed to improve.

In reality, the slip made little difference – Hamilton ended up 0.5 seconds behind Verstappen, and team boss Toto Wolff felt there was only another 0.2secs in the car even with a perfect lap, so Hamilton would not have challenged for a place at the front of the grid.

Behind him, Mercedes team-mate George Russell qualified sixth, and will start fourth on an all-Mercedes second row.

Lance Stroll impressed to head the midfield in the Aston Martin in seventh.

McLaren’s Lando Norris was eighth ahead of Fernando Alonso, who will be disappointed with ninth in the Alpine after looking strong all weekend, especially as he has a five-place grid penalty. His, like those for Leclerc and Perez, is for using too many engine parts.

Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas completed the top 10, ahead of the impressive Alex Albon in the Williams.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *