Hamilton storms to United States GP pole
Lewis Hamilton will start the United States Grand Prix from pole position as Mercedes turned up the heat on its rivals in qualifying.
The reigning world champion proved the class of the field at the Circuit of the Americas as he posted a 1:34.99s effort to beat Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg to pole by 0.2s.
“I’m really pleased it all came together today so I could claim my first pole in the US,” said Hamilton.
“I’ve always been quite bad around the first corner, finding it hard to get the right line and losing time at this part of the track but today I finally got it right – and it was the right time to do so.”
Red Bull had emerged as a genuine rival to Mercedes in practice but in qualifying trim they were unable to match the Silver Arrows.
Daniel Ricciardo proved to be the Brackley squad’s nearest challenger in third albeit half a second adrift of Hamilton’s pace.
The sister Red Bull of Max Verstappen completed the second row, but will start the race on soft tyres along with the Mercedes duo, having progressed through Q2 on that compound.
Red Bull will run a split strategy with Ricciardo to take the start on super-soft tyres.
Ferrari locked out the third row with Kimi Raikkonen edging Sebastian Vettel by 0.2s.
Nico Hulkenberg was seventh fastest comfortably ahead of team-mate Sergio Perez, who missed out on Q3 and will start from 11th position.
Valtteri Bottas (Williams), Felipe Massa (Williams) and Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz rounded out the top 10.
Fernando Alonso fell just shy of securing a spot in Q3 leaving the McLaren driver in 12th spot, while his team-mate Jenson Button could only manage 19th after finding traffic on his best lap.
Fresh from signing a new deal to stay at Toro Rosso next season, Daniil Kyat was 13th fastest ahead of Esteban Gutierrez (Haas F1), Jolyon Palmer (Renault) and Marcus Ericsson (Sauber).
Romain Grosjean continued to struggle for pace in the Haas as he failed to progress from Q1 in 17th position.
Result: Formula 1 United States Grand Prix Qualifying
|3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1:35.50||+0.51|
|4||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1:35.74||+0.74|
|7||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1:36.62||+1.62|
|10||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1:37.32||+2.32|
|11||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1:37.35||+2.35 Q2|
|12||Fernando Alonso||McLaren/Honda||1:37.41||+2.41 Q2|
|13||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1:37.48||+2.48 Q2|
|14||Esteban Gutierrez||Haas/Ferrari||1:37.77||+2.77 Q2|
|15||Jolyon Palmer||Renault||1:37.93||+2.93 Q2|
|16||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber/Ferrari||1:39.35||+4.35 Q2|
|17||Romain Grosjean||Haas/Ferrari||1:38.30||+3.30 Q1|
|18||Kevin Magnussen||Renault||1:38.31||+3.31 Q1|
|19||Jenson Button||McLaren/Honda||1:38.32||+3.32 Q1|
|20||Pascal Wehrlein||Manor/Mercedes||1:38.54||+3.54 Q1|
|21||Felipe Nasr||Sauber/Ferrari||1:38.58||+3.58 Q1|
|22||Esteban Ocon||Manor/Mercedes||1:38.80||+3.80 Q1|