Max Verstappen will take off from pole position for the United States Grand Prix on Sunday after a down-to-the-minute battle with the Mercedes duo.
Speaking after the session, the Dutchman told Sky Sports F1; “It started drizzling at the end of my lap and I wasn’t sure I was going to hang on to it but it’s great to get pole.
“To be P1 and P3 as a team I think was a very strong performance.”
Speaking about tomorrow’s close battle with Hamilton, Verstappen added; “I guess that’s what people like. We just hope to have a good start and then work together as a team to get the best possible result.”
For the first time since 2019 teams and drivers have touched down in Austin, Texas for Qualifying ahead of the United States Grand Prix.
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen wasted no time tonight and was one of a few drivers out early on track.
Charles Leclerc got the lap times underway with a 1:35.281, although that was immediately struck out by Max Verstappen after his lap in 1:34.5.
The second Red Bull of Sergio Perez was just a few hundredths off his teammate early on.
Meanwhile, Bottas was a tenth off in third, with Hamilton a further tenth back in fourth.
McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo managed to knock Verstappen off the top spot with 9 minutes to go, with his team-mate Lando Norris in third.
These impressive McLaren times saw Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton drop down to sixth and seventh.
After a number of strong performers, Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc ultimately landed the fastest lap of Q1 in 1:34.153 followed by Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in second and his team-mate Perez in third.
Down in the elimination zone were Lance Stroll, Nicholas Latifi, Kimi Raikkonen, Mick Schumacher, and Nikita Mazepin who were out of Qualifying.
The second qualifying session of the day saw Verstappen 0.3s quicker than Mercedes’s early one.
Track limits were causing issues for McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo and Red Bull’s Sergio Perez, who were both dealt the unwelcome punishment of deleted lap times – with just six minutes to go.
The pressure was on for Ricciardo in the final minutes to secure a place in Q3, and was running in 12th with one minute on the clock – he managed to go 9th fastest, pushing AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda into the elimination zone.
In his final flying lap, the young Japanese driver managed to claw his way back into 10th, with Alpine’s Ocon in the red.
When time ran out, Verstappen had secured the fastest lap in first, followed by Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton in second and Norris in the McLaren in third.
Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel, Alpine’s Esteban Ocon, and Fernando Alonso, Antonio Giovinazzi in the Alfa Romeo, and Williams’ George Russell were all knocked out.
In the final shootout at the Circuit of the Americas, the top spot was graced by both Mercedes men, only to be taken by Verstappen after a lap three tenths better than the Silver Arrows.
Sergio Perez in the second Red Bull then landed the fastest lap in 1:33.180 and was 0.19s ahead of his team-mate while on provisional pole for the US GP.
When time ran out, however, Max Verstappen snatched that pole position out of Perez’s hands, with a lap in 1:32.910.
Lewis Hamilton will be in second at lights out tomorrow followed by the second Red Bull of Perez.
Valtteri Bottas will be in fourth, followed by the two Ferrari’s of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz in 5th and 6th.
Closing out the top ten then will be the Mclaren duo of Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris in P7 and P8 respectively, while AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly finished 9th and his team-mate Yuki Tsunoda in tenth.