Sainz takes pole for the 2022 United States Grand Prix ahead of Verstappen



Carlos Sainz stormed to pole position in qualifying for the 2022 United States Grand Prix, where grid penalties will see Max Verstappen join him on the front row and the Mercedes start on the second row.

Dietrich Mateschitz’s passing cast a shadow over the paddock ahead of qualifying, with the likes of Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner, Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff, and Formula 1 President and CEO Stefano Domenicali paying tribute to the influential Red Bull energy drinks co-founder.

Red Bull vowed to continue on for qualifying, the team this weekend hoping to secure their first constructors’ championship victory since 2013.

Sainz topped Q1 and Leclerc Q2, leaving Ferrari front-runners when it came to the top-10 shootout. The Monegasque driver set a provisional pole lap early in Q3, but had a10-place grid penalty incoming for engine changes, while Sergio Perez and Fernando Alonso would be demoted five places apiece.
Q3 – Sainz takes pole ahead of Leclerc before grid penalties kick in
On used softs, Verstappen set the time to beat with a 1m 35.044s but Leclerc – facing a 10-place grid penalty for an engine change – took that challenge and set the sectors purple for a time of 1m 34.624s, Sainz going 0.159s off his team mate in P2.

Hamilton then eclipsed the Red Bulls by putting his Mercedes third on the timesheets and 0.323s off the pace, leaving Verstappen fourth and Perez fifth. Russell jumped to sixth after a couple of warm-up laps, Stroll taking a provisional seventh with a later effort, Alonso eighth, Norris ninth and Bottas 10th. Perez and Alonso were however set to be demoted five places apiece thanks to their respective grid penalties.

With the sun glowing at the cusp of the horizon, it was Sainz who secured Ferrari’s first pole position at the Circuit of The Americas, with team mate Leclerc second by 0.065s. Verstappen improved after two warm-up laps but qualified 0.092s off the pace in P3, which is set to become P2 on the grid when Leclerc drops down.

Perez managed fourth, 0.289s off the pace, but anticipating a five-place grid penalty that would promote fifth-place qualifier Hamilton and sixth-place Russell to the second row.

Stroll remained seventh after his stunning effort in the middle of Q3, which would, on Sunday, amount to Aston Martin’s best start of the season. Norris ended up eighth (before penalties) ahead of penalised driver Alonso in P9, and the Alfa Romeo of Bottas in P10.

After the session, Verstappen led Leclerc and Sainz in paying respects to late Red Bull co-founder Dietrich Mateschitz, who on Saturday passed away at the age of 78.

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