United States Grand Prix: Valtteri Bottas on pole, Lewis Hamilton fifth
AUSTIN: Valtteri Bottas he kept his hopes of delaying alive Lewis Hamilton The celebration of the sixth world championship championship took pole position with a record lap on Saturday in qualifying for the United States Grand Prix.
The Finn, who has to win Sunday's race and expects his Mercedes teammate to finish out of the top eight to keep the championship alive, recorded the best lap in one minute and 32,029 seconds to beat second-placed Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari in 0.012 seconds.
Max Verstappen He was third for Red Bull ahead of Charles Leclerc in the second Ferrari and Hamilton, which was fifth.
It was the worst qualification of the elected champion of his career on American soil, but he was only three tenths of his teammate.
Hamilton now doesn't have a pole since the German Grand Prix in July.
For Bottas, it was a first pole in the United States, his fifth this season and the eleventh of his career, his best lap in his first race in Q3 remained fast enough to place him in the first place of departure.
Alex Albon was sixth in the second Red Bull ahead of the two McLarens of Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris with Daniel Ricciardo ninth for Renault and Pierre Gasly tenth for Toro Rosso.
I'm very happy with that and it was a good lap, and having that kind of laps on a track like this is a good feeling, Bottas said.
On my last lap, I was losing grip in general, so I'm glad nobody improved at the end in the second races. It was difficult for me yesterday (Friday), so I did the job today and found what I needed in Q3.
In significantly warmer conditions, which led many to rule out jackets and coats, Leclerc was eager to make an impression of early entry into Q1 after missing the morning session after an engine failure.
He recorded an early lap before Norris took first place briefly before a revitalized Hamilton, who was faster at 1: 33.454.
Verstappen, who was still itching in frustration after being stripped of the pole in Mexico a week earlier, was the second fastest for Red Bull, ahead of Bottas, in the second Mercedes.
The Finn, imperturbable as always, could only keep his commitment to the title alive by winning and expecting a rare flop, out of the first eight, of his teammate.
We believe that the track has improved, so we will take another turn, said Bottas engineer while he and Hamilton stayed outside to get a better understanding of the track in changing conditions.
Unexpectedly, while they did, Norris led the Q1 times, while Antonio Giovinazzi and Kimi Raikkonen of Alfa Romeo and Williams' two men, George Russell and Robert Kubica, separated by Sergio Pérez from Racing Point.
The Mexican will start from the pit lane on Sunday after being penalized for a scale transgression on Friday.
Mercedes men, both with medium compound tires, went first for Q2 with the Ferrari following the same rubber.
Hamilton marked the step ahead of Bottas until Verstappen of Red Bull, in socks, and Albon, in softs, were third and first, interspersing Hamilton.
Albon's lap at 1: 32,898 put him within reach of Hamilton's qualifying lap record in 2018 and the first six were separated by only three tenths of a second before his second run.
Leclerc was ahead of Ferrari teammate Vettel to lead the way to the top ten shootings, while Daniil Kvyat of Toro Rosso, Nico Hulkenberg of Renault, Kevin Magnussen of Haas, Lance Stroll of Racing Point and Romain Grosjean in the Second Haas
Together with Verstappen, both Magnussen and Sainz also qualified to start their 100th Grand Prix race.
In Q3, Bottas broke Hamilton's qualification record at 1: 32.029 in his first race to lead Vettel, Verstappen and Leclerc with the Briton back in fifth, three tenths adrift.