Valtteri Bottas Clinches Pole Position for Mercedes at the Circuit of the Americas.
Bottas Ends Mercedes Pole Drought
The Finn’s opening lap was good enough to secure him his eleventh career pole position.
As well as giving Mercedes’ their first pole since Germany this year.
📻 "Guess who's on pole?!"
— Formula 1 (@F1) November 2, 2019
Bottas: “I knew how to put it together in Q3.”
“I’m glad no one could improve at the end. Happy days.”
Bottas edged out Sebastian Vettel, the Ferrari driver missing out by a mere hundredth of a second.
Vettel: “It was very exciting because it was so close. I thought I had a little bit more, but overall I’m happy. I’m hoping for a good start and a good race.”
Ferrari Hit Trouble
Vettel’s team-mate Charles Leclerc will be on the second row, starting fourth.
However, an oil leak in final practice left the Ferrari mechanics with an enormous task to get his SF90 ready for qualifying.
Fortunately, the Scuderia were able to change out Leclerc’s engine for an older spec in time for qualifying, avoiding a grid penalty.
Leclerc: “I always expect more. But considering I only had half of FP1 and no FP3, it always going to be difficult.”
“It‘s not going to be an easy race but anything is possible if we have a good start.”
Hamilton On The Backfoot
Lewis Hamilton is poised to take a sixth world championship this weekend in Austin.
Although, the Brit was unable to get to grips with his Mercedes in qualifying and will start fifth as a result.
🗣"It's my fault, but I'll try and bring the fight tomorrow."
— Sky Sports F1 (@SkySportsF1) November 2, 2019
As in Mexico, Red Bull, Ferrari & Mercedes opted to set their fastest Q2 lap times on the medium compound.
A decision which means they are obliged to start on the medium, giving them the benefit of better tyre life during the race.
With the exception of Red Bull’s Alex Albon who qualified on the soft compound of tyre.
The other Red Bull of Max Verstappen will head the second row, as the Dutchman lines up in third place.
Verstappen: “Qualifying was just very tight. I think normally we are quite good in the race, so let’s see what’s going to happen.”
McLaren Keep Their Crown
McLaren have once more retained their best of the rest status, the Woking squad edging closer to sealing fourth in the constructors championship.
Carlos Sainz and team-mate Lando Norris starting in seventh & eight respectively for McLaren.
The pair starting just behind Alexander Albon’s Red Bull who will line up sixth.
Further back, Daniel Ricciardo placed his Renault in prime position for some good points on Sunday.
The Australian driver managing a lap good enough for ninth place.
With Pierre Gasly in the Toro Rosso starting just behind in tenth, the Frenchman rounding out the top ten.