US GP: Verstappen edges out Hamilton to take pole as Perez ends up P3
The Dutchman saved the best for last as he beat the Brit to take pole.
Red Bull's Max Verstappen beat Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton to take F1 US GP pole, with Sergio Perez ending up third.
The first part in F1 US GP qualifying saw everyone on the soft tyres with lap deletions continuing to trouble Haas' Nikita Mazepin along with Alfa Romeo's Kimi Raikkonen. At the front, a late push lap from Ferrari's Charles Leclerc of 1m34.153s put him on top.
He edged out the two Red Bull drivers Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez , with the Mercedes duo ending up at the fag end of the Top 10. There was a late double yellow for Alfa Romeo's Antonio Giovinazzi, but despite the spin he made it through to Q2.
His teammate Raikkonen (1m36.311s) got a lap in his final attempt, but was only 18th ahead of Haas duo, with Mazepin (1m36.796s) also managing a lap to be only 0.295s behind his teammate Mick Schumacher (1m36.499s).
It was misery for both the non-penalty takers getting knocked out in Q1, with their teammates making it in. In the end, Aston Martin's Lance Stroll (1m35.983s) was only 16th, with Williams' Nicholas Latifi (1m35.995s).
The second part in F1 US GP qualifying saw a mixed strategy with only Mercedes, Red Bull and McLaren drivers using mediums all out. At Ferrari and AlphaTauri, it was a split choice with Carlos Sainz and Yuki Tsunoda on the soft compound.
Crucially both Perez and Daniel Ricciardo had their initial lap times deleted due to track limits, but both stayed on the mediums for another go. At the same time, Williams' Russell switched to mediums after a soft tyre out lap, with time set.
Also, AlphaTauri's Pierre Gasly switched to the soft compound for his final run, while Sainz changed to medium. At the front, it was Red Bull's Verstappen with a 1m33.464s from Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton and McLaren's Lando Norris.
While Ricciardo scrapped through, Sainz and Tsunoda were the only ones to have set their best time on the soft tyres. Despite getting a tow from Alonso, Alpine's Esteban Ocon (1m35.377s) was knocked out in 11th with Vettel (1m35.500s) setting a lap in 12th.
Alfa Romeo's Giovinazzi (1m35.794s) was 13th with Alonso (1m44.549s) 14th as Russell's only lap time was deleted due to track limits.
The final part in F1 US GP qualifying had a pretty two by two formation among the five teams that made it in Q3, with Red Bull leading with a 1-2 where Perez (1m33.180s) had provisional pole over Verstappen by 0.019s. They beat both the Mercedes drivers.
It was Valtteri Bottas ahead of Hamilton, while the Ferrari duo edged out both the McLaren drivers after the first run. The second run changed the course as the Brit took provisional pole away from Perez by 0.061s, but not for long until Verstappen arrived.
The Dutchman set a 1m32.910s lap to take pole is F1 US GP as he was the only one in the 1m32s, where he beat Hamilton by 0.209s after the Brit only managed a 1m33.119s lap. Having had the provisional pole, Perez (1m33.134s) had to be content with third.
Bottas (1m33.475s) did not improve to be fourth with Ferrari's Charles Leclerc (1m33.606s) ending up fifth from teammate Carlos Sainz (1m33.792s), as they beat the McLaren duo in a straight qualifying fight.
It was Ricciardo (1m33.808s) in seventh ahead of Norris (1m33.887s), as AlphaTauri's Gasly (1m34.118s) and Tsunoda (1m34.918s) rounded out the Top 10. Everyone from Leclerc until Gasly stand to gain a place due to Bottas' penalty.
[Image courtesy: Red Bull Content Pool] [Note: This story was written on FormulaRapida.net]