Lewis Hamilton achieved his 58th career pole position with a scorching lap around the Circuit of the Americans with a time of one minute, 34.999 seconds.
That lap from Hamilton breaks the previous track record set by Sebastian Vettel in his 2012 season racing for Red Bull. Highlighting the pure speed and performance from the Mercedes.
Championship leader Nico Rosberg put on a fight for top spot against his team-mate but had to settle for second position.
Despite missing out on P1, Rosberg can afford to finish behind Hamilton to seal the championship, so pole position is not that big a deal.
The reigning world champion did his damage through the first sector, where he was almost three tenths faster than Rosberg, who ran wide at Turn 1 on both of his Q3 laps.
Rosberg, who briefly held top spot due to finishing his lap before his team-mate, was still fast enough to set the second quickest time, almost three tenths clear of Daniel Ricciardo in the best of the Red Bulls.
Max Verstappen was fourth, ahead of Ferrari duo Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel.
The Mercedes drivers and Verstappen will start the race on soft tyres after all making it through Q2 on that compound.
Nico Hulkenberg was seventh fastest for Force India, well clear of the remaining top ten runners.
Hulkenberg was in superb form, lapping inside the top six in the first two segments of the session.
He was also the only non-Mercedes, Red Bull or Ferrari driver to break into the one minute, 36 seconds.
Williams pair Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa headed an impressive performance from the Toro Rosso of Carlos Sainz in rounding out the top ten.
Hulkenberg’s Force India team-mate Sergio Perez missed out on making Q3 by just over a tenth of a second.
Fernando Alonso’s McLaren-Honda was six hundredths of a second further back in P12, ahead of the Toro Rosso of newly re-signed Daniil Kvyat, Esteban Gutierrez’s Haas, and Jolyon Palmer’s Renault.
Marcus Ericsson completed a cursory run on old tyres in Q2 so wound up P16, after lapping quicker than both Gutierrez and Palmer in Q1.
Palmer complained about his final Q1 run being a “fucking disaster” as he held up Jenson Button’s McLaren on his out-lap, but the Renault still made it through to Q2.
Button was furious to drop out in Q1, after encountering the Renault entering the final corner of his best lap.
The 2009 world champion ended up a lowly P19 in his McLaren-Honda, fractionally behind Romain Grosjean’s Haas and Kevin Magnussen’s Renault, which both also missed the cut.
Pascal Wehrlein recovered from binning his Manor in the gravel in final practice to qualify P20, ahead of Felipe Nasr – who complained about his Sauber’s brakes – and Manor team-mate Esteban Ocon.
Qualifying positions, Circuit of the Americans:
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m34.999s
2 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m35.215s
3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1m35.509s
4 Max Verstappen Red Bull-Renault 1m35.747s
5 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m36.131s
6 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m36.358s
7 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m36.628s
8 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1m37.116s
9 Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1m37.269s
10 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m37.326s
11 Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1m37.353s
12 Fernando Alonso McLaren-Honda 1m37.417s
13 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m37.480s
14 Esteban Gutierrez Haas-Ferrari 1m37.773s
15 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1m37.935s
16 Marcus Ericsson Sauber-Ferrari 1m39.356s
17 Romain Grosjean Haas-Ferrari 1m38.308s
18 Kevin Magnussen Renault 1m38.317s
19 Jenson Button McLaren-Honda 1m38.327s
20 Pascal Wehrlein Manor-Mercedes 1m38.548s
21 Felipe Nasr Sauber-Ferrari 1m38.583s
22 Esteban Ocon Manor-Mercedes 1m38.806s