Hamilton takes United States Grand Prix pole position

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

3 thoughts to “Hamilton takes United States Grand Prix pole position”

  1. Qualifying review as reported by Formula1.com:

    Lewis Hamilton will start Sunday’s 2016 Formula 1 United States Grand Prix from pole position after beating Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg by two-tenths of a second in qualifying at Austin’s Circuit of The Americas. Red Bull locked out row two, with Daniel Ricciardo heading Max Verstappen.

    Kimi Raikkonen led team mate Sebastian Vettel for an all-Ferrari third row, with Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg, the Williams of Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa, and Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz completing the top ten.

    It was Hamilton’s ninth pole position of the season and though all the fast times were set on Pirelli’s supersoft tyres, the Silver Arrows crucially used the more durable softs in Q2, and can thus potentially gain further advantage by starting the race on them. So can Verstappen…

    Hamilton led Rosberg by 0.101s in Q1, chased another few tenths down by the Red Bulls of Verstappen and Ricciardo, as Hulkenberg went ahead of Raikkonen and Vettel.

    At the end Jenson Button briefly squeaked into Q2 for McLaren, only to be bumped immediately by Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson, and then to complain about traffic on the racing line in the final corner. With Jolyon Palmer getting the Q2 nod by three tenths for Renault, Romain Grosjean was the first of those left behind, with 1m 38.308s for Haas.

    Palmer’s team mate Kevin Magnussen was next on 1m 38.317s ahead of Button on 1m 38.327s, Manor’s Pascal Wehrlein on 1m 38,548s, Sauber’s Felipe Nasr on 1m 38.583s and Manor’s Esteban Ocon on 1m 38.806s.

    As Ricciardo set the Q2 pace with 1m 36.255s on supersofts, Mercedes cannily ran Rosberg and Hamilton on softs and they were second (1m 36.31s) and third (1m 36.450s); they will thus be able to start on the harder and more durable rubber. Verstappen also ran them.

    A late run to 1m 37.214s put Massa 10th and into Q3 at the expense of Force India’s Sergio Perez (1m 37.353s) and McLaren’s Fernando Alonso (1m 37.417s). Joining them were Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat (1m 37.480s), Esteban Gutierrez in the Haas (1m 38.773s), Palmer (1m 38.935s) and Ericsson (1m 39.356s).

    Back on supersofts, Mercedes dominated Q3 – or at last, Hamilton did. He aced Rosberg in their first runs, 1m 35.370s to 1m 35.442s, as Rosberg ran a little wide exiting Turn One, and again in their second, 1m 34.999s to 1m 35.215s, to take his first pole since Malaysia.

    Red Bull were left a little breathless as Ricciardo took third on 1m 35.509s from Verstappen on 1m 35.747s, but this time the Ferraris were ahead of Hulkenberg. Once again Raikkonen out-qualified Vettel, with 1m 36.131s to 1m 36.358s, with the Force India driver seventh on 1m 36.628s.

    Bottas eased ahead of Massa for eighth with 1m 37.116s to 1m 37.269s, as Sainz took 10th on 1m 37.326s.

    Thus the provisional grid lines up: Hamilton, Rosberg; Ricciardo, Verstappen; Raikkonen, Vettel; Hulkenberg, Bottas; Massa, Sainz; Perez, Alonso; Kvyat, Gutierrez; Palmer, Ericsson; Grosjean, Magnussen; Button, Wehrlein; Nasr, Ocon.

  2. Jenson Button says his McLaren Formula 1 team “messed up” in qualifying for the US Grand Prix, which resulted in his elimination in Q1.

    Button will start the race 19th after he caught traffic on his final lap, which he believes was because McLaren got its timing wrong.

    “We were eighth yesterday and ninth this morning, so the pace was good,” said Button.

    “But we just messed up with the timing again – it’s not the first time.

    “I had to overtake four cars in the last sector and the last one [Jolyon Palmer] saw me really late and stayed on the racing line, so I had to outbrake him into the final corner.

    “It’s disappointing and it’s just certain things that we shouldn’t have been making mistakes with.

    “We mistimed the lap and got it wrong and it’s annoying because we did it two races ago in Malaysia as well.

    “It means I’m doing my timed lap when other people are doing their outlap, so we’ve got to stop doing that because it’s costing us a lot.

    “You could say ‘well how do you know when the pack is going out?’ but the other cars seem to be able to do that.

    “I thought we had good pace here and we’ve thrown it away – it’s our fault for getting the strategy wrong in terms of timing.”

    Button attempted his first run in qualifying on the soft tyre, before joining everyone else in taking the super-soft for his final lap, and he admitted that initial strategy gamble was “probably not a good idea”.

    “We thought we had enough in the bag, with the pace the car had, but it was a tough lap,” he added.

    “If we judged it right at the end like most of the other cars did, we would have been fine

    “Our race pace is fine but the problem is you can’t overtake around here, so it’s going to be a tough one tomorrow.”

    Source: Autosport.com

  3. Daniel Ricciardo eyes Formula 1 startline advantage over Mercedes drivers. Autosport.com has the news story.

    Daniel Ricciardo is hoping for “friendly grip” off the line from his super-soft Formula 1 tyres when he starts third behind the soft-shod Mercedes drivers in the US Grand Prix.

    Lewis Hamilton beat team-mate and title rival Nico Rosberg to pole position, with both getting through Q2 on the soft tyres, meaning they will start the race on those sets.

    Red Bull chose to split its Q2 strategy with Max Verstappen, who lines up fourth, taking the soft, while Ricciardo took super-softs.

    With Mercedes plagued by bad starts throughout the season, Ricciardo suggested the extra grip from the softest tyre could be crucial at the start.

    “I’m not concerned as we expected it to go like this,” said the Australian.

    “Max wanted to try the soft and I was happy to go on the super soft.

    “I was a bit more comfortable on that tyre in the long run yesterday, that was the reason for that.

    “Hopefully it gives me a better launch off the line.

    “The car was working pretty well and we’ve got a good chance tomorrow.

    “Hopefully the super-soft gives me a little bit of friendly grip off the line.”

    Hamilton has previously won three times in four attempts in Austin, but he has never started the race on pole position.

    Despite Mercedes’ problems with its starts this year, the reigning world champion, who trails Rosberg by 33 points in the standings, was hopeful of making a good getaway.

    “I feel amazing,” he said. “It’s been many years of trying [to get pole here].

    “I feel positive, we’ve worked hard over the last couple of weeks understanding and improving on lots of areas.

    “I’ve been practising the starts all weekend so I feel positive about it for tomorrow.”

    Hamilton did his damage in the first sector, where he was nearly three tenths quicker than Rosberg, but the latter remained optimistic about his chances on Sunday.

    “Lewis was just quicker in sector one so pretty simple,” Rosberg said.

    “That’s the way it goes sometimes.

    “It was a good lap I did in the end so I was pleased with that.

    “Nevertheless, as we’ve seen this year qualifying is not all important so from P2, I still have a great chance.”

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