Formula 1

F1: Bottas takes pole in Austin, Hamilton fifth

Credit: Mercedes-Benz archive

Valtteri Bottas has taken pole position for the United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of Americas, ahead of Sebastian Vettel.

Bottas topped the times after his first flying lap, in what was a closely fought Q3 session, setting a best time of 1m32.029, and headed off Vettel and Max Verstappen with the trio separated by only seven thousandths of a second.

The drivers all headed out for a final flying lap at the end of qualifying but none of them were able to improve on their initial times, meaning Bottas secured pole position on a weekend where he must win and his team-mate Lewis Hamilton must finish lower than ninth for the championship to remain alive.

Charles Leclerc ended up fourth fastest after a disrupted weekend. The Ferrari driver had a throttle issue in Friday practice, and had an engine change prior to qualifying after an oil leak in Free Practice three.

Hamilton could only do enough for fifth, and will start ahead of the Red Bull of Alex Albon, who had his final flying lap deleted for exceeding track limits.

Carlos Sainz Jr managed to out-qualify his McLaren team-mate Lando Norris to secure seventh, while Daniel Ricciardo and Pierre Gasly rounded out the top ten.

Nico Hulkenberg ended up 11th, after the Toro Rosso of Daniil Kvyat had his fastest time deleted for exceeding track limits at the end of Q2, while Kevin Magnussen was 12th fastest.

Having had his best lap deleted, Kvyat dropped down to 13th, ahead of the Racing Point of Lance stroll and second Haas of Romain Grosjean.

Both Alfa Romeo’s of Antonio Giovinazzi and Kimi Raikkonen failed to make it out of Q1, ending up 16th and 17th fastest, while George Russell managed to get his Williams up to 18th ahead of the of Sergio Perez and Robert Kubica.

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