United States GP: Bottas beats Vettel to pole, Hamilton fifth

Valtteri Bottas claimed his fifth pole position of the 2019 Formula 1 season in qualifying for the United States Grand Prix at Austin.

United States GP: Bottas beats Vettel to pole, Hamilton fifth

The Mercedes driver's first run in Q3, during which he posted a lap of 1m32.029s, was good enough to be sure of pole.

Neither he nor Sebastian Vettel, who was just 0.012 seconds slower, were able to improve on their second attempts but the Ferrari driver's first-run pace was also good enough for a place on the front row.

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen did improve on the second attempt to consolidate third place, just 0.067s slower than Bottas, with Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc also finding time but ending up 0.108s down in fourth.

World championship leader Lewis Hamilton abandoned his second lap after losing time in the second sector, meaning he ended up fifth and 0.292s down. He only requires an eighth place in Sunday's race to wrap up the 2019 title.

Alex Albon was sixth in the second Red Bull, 0.519s off the pace.

Carlos Sainz benefited from having two sets of fresh softs in Q3 thanks to completing only one run in Q1 to secure midfield honours in seventh place with a lap just three tenths slower than Albon.

Sainz's McLaren teammate, Lando Norris, also earned a place on the fourth row in eighth, almost three-and-a-half tenths slower.

Renault driver Daniel Ricciardo, who completed his sole Q3 run on a clear track before the final flurry, was ninth fastest, 1.459s off the pace, and just over a tenth faster than Toro Rosso driver Pierre Gasly.

The Ferrari and Mercedes drivers will start on mediums having used that tyre compound for their Q2 time, along with Verstappen - with the rest of the top 10 using softs.

Renault driver Nico Hulkenberg was quickest of those knocked out in 11th place after lapping one tenth slower than Gasly.

He briefly climbed into the top 10 as he finished his final lap, only to be knocked down a place by teammate Ricciardo.

Kevin Magnussen was 12th for Haas having failed to improve on his second run, ending up 0.010s quicker than Toro Rosso's Daniil Kvyat - who had a time that originally put him 11th deleted for a track-limits violation.

Racing Point's Lance Stroll was 14th, just over half a tenth quicker than 15th-fastest Romain Grosjean's Haas.

Alfa Romeo duo Antonio Giovinazzi and Kimi Raikkonen were both eliminated in Q1 in 16th and 17th places respectively.

The pair were both in the drop zone after the first runs, with Raikkonen briefly climbing to 15th ahead of Gasly before Giovinazzi leaped ahead thanks to his stronger pace in the middle sector.

But Gasly then posted a time good enough to shuffle both back into the bottom five, where they ended the session well clear of the lead Williams of George Russell.

Racing Point driver Sergio Perez must start from the pits thanks to missing the weighbridge in practice two, so completed only one run and was 19th fastest.

That put him less than a tenth faster than the second Williams of Robert Kubica.

Cla Driver Chassis Time Gap
1 Finland Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 01'32.029  
2 Germany Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 01'32.041 00.012
3 Netherlands Max Verstappen Red Bull 01'32.096 00.067
4 Monaco Charles Leclerc Ferrari 01'32.137 00.108
5 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 01'32.321 00.292
6 Thailand Alex Albon Red Bull 01'32.548 00.519
7 Spain Carlos Sainz Jr. McLaren 01'32.847 00.818
8 United Kingdom Lando Norris McLaren 01'33.175 01.146
9 Australia Daniel Ricciardo Renault 01'33.488 01.459
10 France Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso 01'33.601 01.572
11 Germany Nico Hulkenberg Renault 01'33.815 01.786
12 Denmark Kevin Magnussen Haas 01'33.979 01.950
13 Russian Federation Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 01'33.989 01.960
14 Canada Lance Stroll Racing Point 01'34.100 02.071
15 France Romain Grosjean Haas 01'34.158 02.129
16 Italy Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo 01'34.226 02.197
17 Finland Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo 01'34.369 02.340
18 United Kingdom George Russell Williams 01'35.372 03.343
19 Poland Robert Kubica Williams 01'35.889 03.860
20 Mexico Sergio Perez Racing Point 01'35.808 03.779
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