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Hamilton sweeps every session on the way to US F1 GP pole position

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Hamilton sweeps every session on the way to US F1 GP pole position
Oct 21, 2017, 11:11 PM

Lewis Hamilton took pole position for the United States Formula 1 Grand Prix to start the race alongside Sebastian Vettel.

Lewis Hamilton took pole position for the United States Formula 1 Grand Prix to start the race alongside Sebastian Vettel. With his 117th front-row start, Hamilton has overtaken Michael Schumacher's record.

The Briton, having led every session of the weekend, eclipsed his 2016 pole time of 1m34.99s with a Q3 effort of 1m33.108s, 0.239 seconds ahead of his Ferrari rival.

Hamilton also topped FP3 by 0.09s over Vettel. Team-mate Valtteri Bottas and Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo start on the second row for the race.

Max Verstappen's 15-place grid penalty, due to a sixth engine and MGU-H, hampered his sixth place qualification.

McLaren-Honda's Stoffel Vandoorne and Toro Rosso stand-in Brendon Hartley took a five and 25-place grid penalty, respectively as Renault implemented 2018 engine parts pre-emptively.

The final Renault-powered driver to have taken a grid penalty was Nico Hulkenberg, who has a 20-place demotion for the race.

All five races at Austin have been won from the front-row of the grid.

Q1

Hamilton topped the session with a time of 1m34.822s as traffic backed up a number of flying efforts. His time, on super-softs, was 0.077s faster than that of Q1 runner-up Verstappen.

Bottas finished third, a tenth of Vettel while Renault's new driver Carlos Sainz Jr finished fifth. Kimi Raikkonen filed in seventh, with an unceremonious gap of 0.827s between him and Hamilton.

Fernando Alonso finished eighth ahead of Hulkenberg and Esteban Ocon, who rounded out the top 10.

World Endurance Championship frontrunner Hartley was eliminated in 18th, behind Lance Stroll and Marcus Ericsson. The Sauber driver missed out on Q2 by 0.007s.

Stroll (17th) was under investigation for impeding Grosjean, who recovered on his final lap to finish the session 15th, eliminating Ericsson for the 15th time in a row.

Haas' Kevin Magnussen was eliminated in 20th with a time of 1m37.394s.

Q2

Attired with ultra-softs, Hamilton set a benchmark time of 1m33.560s as the Ferraris showed signs of wilting.

Hamilton improved to set a time of 1m33.437s to remain in first, finishing 0.332s ahead of second place team-mate Bottas.

Raikkonen filed in 0.403s off the top, with Vettel another two tenths away.

On super-softs, Verstappen finished sixth anticipating his grid penalty, behind Ricciardo who finished two tenths ahead in fourth place as Red Bull opted for just a single flying lap.

Alonso finished ninth to book his Honda-powered Mclaren a place in Q3 for the first time at Austin, while Ocon finished 10th in Q2 for the sixth time this season.

With his final effort, Sergio Perez (seventh) moved into the top 10 to push Felipe Massa into the drop-zone.

Returnee Daniil Kvyat, Mclaren's Vandoorne and Haas' Grosjean were also eliminated in 12th, 13th and 14th, respectively.

Hulkenberg sat the session out as his 20-place penalty beckoned, so the Renault driver finished 15th to end a 20-race streak of out-qualifying team-mates which began at the 2016 US GP.

Q3

Clocking 280kmh (174mph) with a soft touch through the first few corners, Hamilton lay down the gauntlet in Q3 with a time of 1m33.108s on a fresh set of ultra-softs.

Vettel, with a blistering effort, jumped to second with a time of 1m33.347s to ruin Mercedes' hopes of a 50th front-row lockout.

Bottas settled for third, 0.460s off the top and 0.009s ahead of fourth place Ricciardo, who set the same time as fifth place Raikkonen.

Penalty-hit Verstappen finished sixth, 0.550s behind Hamilton, while Ocon – who will be promoted a place – was another second back in seventh.

Sainz finished a tenth ahead of ninth place Alonso while 10th place Perez took the final Q3 spot.

Will Lewis Hamilton beat Sebastian Vettel to a US Formula 1 GP victory? Have your say in the comment section below.

Provisional Grid, US F1 GP:

POSITION

DRIVER

CAR

TIME

GAP

1

Lewis Hamilton

Mercedes

1m33.108s

-

2

Sebastian Vettel

Ferrari

1m33.347s

0.239s

3

Valtteri Bottas

Mercedes

1m33.568s

0.460s

4

Daniel Ricciardo

Red Bull

1m33.577s

0.469s

5

Kimi Raikkonen

Ferrari

1m33.577s

0.469s

6

Esteban Ocon

Force India

1m34.647s

1.539s

7

Carlos Sainz Jr

Renault

1m34.852s

1.744s

8

Fernando Alonso

McLaren

1m35.007s

1.899s

9

Sergio Perez

Force India

1m35.148s

2.040s

10

Felipe Massa

Williams

1m35.155s

2.047s

11

Daniil Kvyat

Toro Rosso

1m35.529s

2.421s

12

Romain Grosjean

Haas

1m35.870s

2.762s

13

Marcus Ericsson

Sauber

1m36.842s

3.734s

14

Lance Stroll

Williams

1m36.868s

3.760s

15

Stoffel Vandoorne

McLaren

1m35.641s

2.533s

16

Pascal Wehrlein

Sauber

1m37.179s

4.071s

17

Kevin Magnussen

Haas

1m37.394s

4.286s

18

Max Verstappen

Red Bull

1m33.658s

0.550s

19

Nico Hulkenberg

Renault

-

-

20

Brendon Hartley

Toro Rosso

1m36.889s

3.781s

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