Charles Leclerc took F1 US GP pole after track limits for Max Verstappen, as Lando Norris was P2 and Lewis Hamilton in P3.
It was a close fight at the front in the first part of F1 US GP qualifying as Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton set the pace with a 1m35.091s lap as McLaren’s Lando Norris came close to 0.019s to be second dropping Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in third.
The field was closely bunched up with strange results as both the Williams and Aston Martin cars were knocked out were Haas’ Nico Hulkenberg was first up in 16th with a 1m36.235s lap. There was a late improvement from Fernando Alonso but still he was out.
The Aston Martin driver only managed a 1m36.268s lap to be 17th ahead of Williams’ Alexander Albon (1m36.315s) with the other Aston Martin of Lance Stroll (1m36.589s) in 19th and the other Williams of Logan Sargeant (1m36.827s) in 20th.
The American had a moment which cost him time as the FIA noted Stroll along with the AlphaTauri pair of Daniel Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda under investigation for failing to adhere to the FIA Race Director’s note regarding maximum delta time.
It was tight still in the second part of F1 US GP qualifying with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc taking the top spot with a 1m35.004s lap which only 0.004s quicker than Verstappen, while Hamilton was not too far off behind in third in the order.
It was close in the knockout zone too where AlphaTauri’s Tsunoda (1m35.697s) missed out on a Top 10 result by 0.018s to be 11th, while Alfa Romeo’s Zhou Guanyu (1m35.689s) missed out by just 0.019s in 12th.
His teammate Valtteri Bottas (1m35.858s) was 13th from Haas’ Kevin Magnussen ,(1m35.880s) with AlphaTauri’s Ricciardo (1m35.974s) only 15th after his quick lap was deleted. Even Norris had his lap time deleted earlier on but managed to set a Q3 time.
The final part in F1 US GP qualifying saw a tasty battle at the front with Leclerc setting provisional pole lap of 1m34.829s lap which was 0.056s quicker than Hamilton and 0.252s quicker than Verstappen, who was only third on the grid.
The Dutchman was upset by a slight movement in the final corner where he was seemingly caught out by teammate Sergio Perez who was starting his push lap. There was a lap deletion for Mercedes’ George Russell which left him with nothing after first run.
It was dramatic in the end where Leclerc improved to a 1m34.723s lap but Verstappen went further only for his lap to be deleted due to track limits at Turn 19. The Monegasque did not have a good final sector while the Dutchman did not have in the first.
It didn’t matter as Verstappen dropped to sixth as a result while Norris (1m34.853s) slotted in second from Hamilton (1m34.862s) in the Top 3. Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz (1m34.945s) and Russell (1m35.079s) it a double Top 5 for their teams which had no Red Bull for a change.
With Verstappen (1m35.081s) in sixth, he led the Alpine duo of Pierre Gasly (1m35.089s) and Esteban Ocon (1m35.154s) with Perez (1m35.173s) only ninth from McLaren’s Oscar Piastri (1m35.467s).