Charles Leclerc edged out Lando Norris, Lewis Hamilton to take pole; Max Verstappen sixth after losing fastest lap for track limits breach; get set for Sprint Saturday: tune in live to the Sprint Shootout at 6.30pm and then the Sprint race itself at 11pm on Sky Sports F1
Last Updated: 20/10/23 11:40pm
Charles Leclerc beat Lando Norris and Lewis Hamilton to a thrilling United States Grand Prix pole as an error left world champion Max Verstappen starting from sixth.
In a wide-open contest, Verstappen momentarily held pole position before he lost what was the fastest lap time of the session for exceeding track limits at the penultimate corner.
With Verstappen’s time deleted, Ferrari’s Leclerc regained pole, edging out Norris and Hamilton by little more than a tenth of a second to seal his third pole position of the season – the most by any driver other than Verstappen.
Hamilton will be disappointed at failing to produce his best lap at the key moment, but the seven-time world champion is set to have a rare chance of ending his near-two-year winless streak with Mercedes appearing to have benefitted from a final major upgrade of the season.
In contrast, Norris had not looked quite quick enough to be part of the pole battle, but delivered his best lap at the opportune moment to sneak ahead of Hamilton.
Leclerc’s Ferrari team-mate Carlos Sainz took fourth, while George Russell overcame a challenging session to take fifth for Mercedes.
Alpine duo Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon were seventh and eighth behind Verstappen, whose team-mate Sergio Perez was ninth ahead of McLaren’s Oscar Piastri.
The result sets up an enticing race on Sunday, in which Verstappen will still be a major threat to claim a 15th victory of the season, which would equal the record he set last year.
The Dutchman is chasing a host of historic marks having sealed his third successive drivers’ title earlier this month in Qatar with five rounds of the season still remaining.
First though will come Saturday’s Sprint action, with the shortened qualifying session and race set to provide the enthusiastic Austin crowd with more entertainment in two contests that should be similarly open.
Qatar GP Qualifying result
1) Charles Leclerc, Ferrari
2) Lando Norris, McLaren
3) Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes
4) Carlos Sainz, Ferrari
5) George Russell, Mercedes
6) Max Verstappen, Red Bull
7) Pierre Gasly, Alpine
8) Esteban Ocon, Alpine
9) Sergio Perez, Red Bull
10) Oscar Piastri, McLaren
United States GP Qualifying timesheet
|1. Charles Leclerc||Ferrari||1:34.723|
|2. Lando Norris||McLaren||+0.130|
|3. Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes||+0.139|
|4. Carlos Sainz||Ferrari||+0.222|
|5. George Russell||Mercedes||+0.356|
|6. Max Verstappen||Red Bull||+0.358|
|7. Pierre Gasly||Alpine||+0.366|
|8. Esteban Ocon||Alpine||+0.431|
|9. Sergio Perez||Red Bull||+0.450|
|10. Oscar Piastri||McLaren||+0.744|
|Out in Q2|
|11. Yuki Tsunoda||AlphaTauri||1:35.697|
|12. Zhou Guanyu||Alfa Romeo||1:35.698|
|13. Valtteri Bottas||Alfa Romeo||1:35.858|
|14. Kevin Magnussen||Haas||1:35.880|
|15. Daniel Ricciardo||AlphaTauri||1:35.974|
|Out in Q1|
|16. Nico Hulkenberg||Haas||1:36.235|
|17. Fernando Alonso||Aston Martin||1:36.268|
|18. Alex Albon||Williams||1:36.315|
|19. Lance Stroll||Aston Martin||1:36.589|
|20. Logan Sargeant||Williams||1:36.827|
When to watch the US GP and F1 Academy finale live only on Sky Sports F1
Saturday October 21
- 3.30pm: F1 Academy Race One
- 6pm: US GP Sprint Shootout build-up
- 6:30pm: US GP Sprint Shootout
- 9.15pm: F1 Academy Race Two
- 10pm: US GP Sprint build-up
- 11pm: US GP SPRINT (also on Sky Sports Main Event)
- (Sunday) 12.30am: Ted’s Sprint Notebook
Sunday October 22
- 3.30pm: F1 Academy Race Three
- 6.30pm: Grand Prix Sunday: US GP build-up
- 8pm: THE UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX (also on Sky Sports Main Event)
- 10pm: Chequered Flag: US GP reaction
- 11pm: Ted’s Notebook
Watch Formula 1 return to Texas for the United States Grand Prix and another Sprint weekend live on Sky Sports F1 this weekend Stream F1 on Sky Sports with NOW