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Verstappen and Hamilton together on the front-row for United States Grand Prix

Verstappen and Hamilton together on the front-row for United States Grand Prix

23-10-2021 23:00 Last update: 23:03
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Max Verstappen has qualified on pole position for the 2021 United States Grand Prix as he looks to open a bigger gap to Lewis Hamilton in the World Championship. His British rival will start from second place. For the seventh time this season, the duo will start on the front row together. 

On the first run in Q3, Verstappen lost a bit of time in the middle sector but still beat the Mercedes drivers by three-tenths. However, it was Perez who snatched provisional pole by just 0.019 seconds. 

On the second run, Hamilton found good time in the second sector and improved to take provisional pole. A little bit of rain was felt in the pit lane in the final seconds of the session, but it didn't prevent Verstappen from improving to take P1. 

Verstappen records his first pole position in America. The Red Bull Racing driver now has nine pole positions to his name in 2021 as the team look to challenge Mercedes for the title.

Q1 

Ahead of the session, Red Bull mechanics were working hard on their cars as hairline cracks appeared on the rear wings. Both Perez and Verstappen were out on the circuit early proving it was only a minor precautionary problem. Sebastian Vettel became frustrated on the team radio after running into traffic on his hot lap. He blamed Nikita Mazepin. 

After the first set of laps Fernando Alonso, Nicholas Latifi and Mick Schumacher sat in the drop zone along with Kimi Raikkonen and Mazepin who didn't set a timed lap. Antonio Giovinazzi had a spin in sector two but managed to avoid hitting the barrier and pulled away. 

Both Haas drivers remained in the drop zone along with Raikkonen and Latifi. Alonso escaped in his Alpine and was replaced by Lance Stroll. At the top of the timesheets, Charles Leclerc improved to go faster than both Red Bull drivers. The Mercedes drivers finished in the midfield. 

OUT - 20th Mazepin, 19th Schumacher, 18th Raikkonen, 17th Latifi, 16th Stroll 

Q2

Bottas and Hamilton came out of the pits first with the medium tyres. Verstappen beat both Mercedes drivers with an impressive 1:33.464 on the first run. Perez came close to beating Bottas but had his lap deleted due to track limits. Lando Norris and Charles Leclerc managed to go quicker than Bottas in the first part of Q2. 

As a result of the deleted lap, Perez sat nervously in the drop zone with Daniel Ricciardo, George Russell, Vettel and Giovinazzi. All five of those drivers failed with track limits. Interestingly, the times improved signifcantly at the top of the timesheets on the medium tyre compared to the soft. Red Bull sent Perez out early to allow time for two hot laps on the medium tyres. 

Ocon dropped out with his Alpine teammate Alonso who tried to supply a tow. The Spaniard has a grid penalty inbound and therefore played the team role. Russell dropped down with a deleted lap time. 

OUT - 15th Russell, 14th Alonso, 13th Giovinazzi, 12th Vettel, 11th Ocon 

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