Lewis Hamilton is on pole position for tomorrow’s United States Grand Prix with the World Drivers’ Championship (WDC) in sight. If he is able to retain top spot and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel finished below 2nd, he will clinch the title. This came after a hectic Q3 where Kimi Raikkonen was on provisional pole before Hamilton put in his pole clinching lap. Vettel placed second, but will be moved back to fifth due to a penalty issued on Friday.
Kimi Raikkonen To Join Lewis Hamilton On Front Row
The qualifying session happened in the late afternoon to early evening with the air temperature at 19 degrees C and the track temperature at 21 degrees C. All drivers opted for the fastest tyre selection this weekend, the Ultrasofts.
Q1 – Max Verstappen Suffers Damage
In the first qualifying session, Red Bull Racing driver Max Verstappen put in a fast enough lap to advance but also damaged his car. There was an issue on the right rear of his car coming off the big “sausage kerbs”. Because of this he did not participate in qualifying two. Stoffel Vandoorne, Marcus Ericsson, Lance Stroll, Sergey Sirotkin and Fernando Alonso did not advance to Q2. They were all at risk of elimination before the final laps, and despite tons of shuffling in the standings, they all found their way back to elimination.
Q2 – Sainz and Magnussen Out
Many Q2 eliminations came from lack of participation. Along with the already mentioned Verstappen, Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley did not put in a lap. Carlos Sainz and Kevin Magnussen put in laps but did not escape the dropzone.
Q3 – Hamilton Pinches Pole
With one Red Bull not making it to Q3, P6 was available to a driver outside of the top three teams. It was Force India’s Esteban Ocon who captured that spot with a 1:34.145s lap time. Lewis Hamilton put in a 1:32.237s lap, improving by over a whole second from his Q2 lap. Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen will join him on the first row on Sunday, with Valtteri Bottas and Daniel Ricciardo lined up on the second row.
Full Timing Sheet
|5||3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull||1:34.755||1:34.185||1:33.494||14|
|6||31||Esteban Ocon||Force India||1:34.876||1:34.522||1:34.145||18|
|10||11||Sergio Perez||Force India||1:35.193||1:34.525||1:34.594||17|
|13||10||Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso||1:34.850||13|
|14||28||Brendon Hartley||Toro Rosso||1:35.206||13|
|15||33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||1:34.766||4|
*3 place grid penalty
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