F1 News – Leclerc takes pole as Verstappen gets time deleted

United States Grand Prix – Charles Leclerc won the qualifying session after Max Verstappen’s top time was disregarded due to track restrictions.

Q1

Logan Sargeant, the lone American on the starting grid, was the first to venture outside as qualifying got underway at Circuit of the Americas. Instead of completing a timed lap, the Williams driver returned to the pits, thus Pierre Gasly set the pace with a 1:37.529.

Grand Prix of the United States qualifying results for 2023

Max Verstappen led Charles Leclerc by a tenth and a half after the first eight minutes of the practice, looking very similar to how FP1 concluded. At that point, just twelve drivers had recorded times, with the defending champion’s time of 1:36.470 being the best so far.

In the following minutes, Nico Hulkenberg and Pierre Gasly were able to surpass the Red Bull driver, but as there were only five minutes left, the Ferraris jumped to the front. Carlos Sainz was the first to enter the 1:35s after setting a time of 1:35.824, nearly three tenths faster than his teammate, while Alex Albon, Kevin Magnussen, Daniel Ricciardo (driving in his first race back after breaking his wrist at the Dutch Grand Prix

Verstappen beat Sainz’s time by almost half a second in the closing minutes of the practice, and Sainz, who was watching from his garage, was counting on his time to get him through.

Verstappen’s time was beaten by Lewis Hamilton and Lando Norris at the finish line; the Mercedes driver set a 1:35.091; however, things didn’t go well for Aston Martin or Williams; none of their cars made it through, and they were joined by the previous time leader, Hulkenberg.

Q2

Leclerc led the Ferraris out of the gate with a 1:35.888 as the battle for the top ten got underway. Verstappen was back at the top with a 1:35.491 at the halfway point of the practice, Oscar Piastri was just under a tenth off, and the Alpines in P3 and P4 were just over a tenth off the Dutch driver’s pace.

Outside the top ten were Ricciardo, Magnussen, Zhou, Sainz, and Norris; the McLaren driver did not record a time since his first lap was removed owing to circuit restrictions.

Leclerc set a 1:35.004 in the closing few minutes as the two Ferraris once more surged to the top of the charts, coming close to breaking the 1:34 mark. Verstappen attempted to respond, but he could only close the gap on the Monegasque driver by 0.004 seconds.

The top two remained unchanged at the finish line, with Sainz dropping to P4 due to Hamilton’s final lap, while the two Alfa Romeos, Yuki Tsunoda, Magnussen, and Ricciardo all fell short of the top 10, bringing an end to their respective races.

Q3

Verstappen was the first to leave the starting line as the pole shootout began. He started the race with a 1:35.081, but Leclerc had the faster initial effort, clocking in at 1:34.829 to enter the 1:34s, while Hamilton was only a half-tenth behind than the Ferrari driver.

After the initial runs, all of the drivers went back to the pits, and Russell was the only one without a time after losing his to track limitations. Leclerc started the final laps first, and Russell was last, just as the current timesheets.

Despite a poor starting sector, the lead Ferrari driver improved his provisional pole time. Verstappen temporarily overtook him with a 1:34.718, but track constraints caused that time to be deleted, and Leclerc eventually won pole with a 1:34.723.

Hamilton moved up to P3, while Norris finished the day in P2 and 0.130 seconds behind the Ferrari racer. Sainz ranked P4. Verstappen’s first timed lap in Q3 was good enough for P6, while Russell was P5 just ahead of him. Perez and Piastri completed the top 10, followed by the Alpines Gasly and Ocon in positions 7 and 8, respectively.

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