By Robert Haile
The Driver’s Championship might have finished but there is still the Constructors Championship that the teams are fighting for with four races left.
Ferrari have hit back in the championship at Red Bull with Carlos Sainz taking pole position with teammate Charles Leclerc taking second but dropping ten places down the order after taking a new engine.
Pole sitter Sainz said: “Qualifying went well right from Q1. I was feeling comfortable in the car and building the speed lap after lap until the last attempt in Q3.
“The wind was tricky today, so every lap was a bit different, but this made it an exciting qualifying as it always is here in Austin.
“Tomorrow we’ll give our absolute best in the race to convert this pole into a win, although we can expect a good battle with our rivals.”
There was sadness to the day as news of Red Bull co-founder and Red Bull and AlphaTauri founder, Dietrich Mateschitz, death circulated
Sainz, a former Toro Rosso, now AlphaTauri, driver said: “Despite taking pole, I naturally feel sad after learning of the passing of Dietrich Mateschitz.
“He was an exceptional man to whom the world of sports owes a lot and he will be dearly missed.
“My deepest condolences to his family and friends and to the entire Red Bull family.”
It was a close qualifying session as Haas’ Kevin Magnussen missed out by 0.017 seconds with McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo and Alpine’s Esteban Ocon behind in seventeenth and eighteenth.
Mick Schumacher finished nineteenth for Haas with Williams’ Nicholas Latifi in twentieth.
In the second session McLaren’s Lando Norris was set to to be eliminated in eleventh but Alfa Romeo’s Zhou Guanyu had his lap time deleted for a track limit infringement.
Joining the Alfa Romeo driver is Williams Alex Albon, Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel and both AlphaTauri driver with Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda split by Zhou.
Seven different teams made it through to the top ten shootout as Carlos Saniz put Ferrari on pole beating teammate Charles Leclerc with both improving on their last lap.
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez finished in third and fourth with Mercedes taking fifth and sixth with Lewis Hamilton and George Russell.
Lance Stroll’s Aston Martin beat McLaren’s Lando Norris with Alpine’s Fernando Alonso and Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas round out the top ten.
This is before the penalties changed the grid with Leclerc starting twelfth, Perez drops to ninth, Alonso to fourteenth with Zhou and Tsunoda starting eighteenth and nineteenth.
Ocon will start from the pit lane after the car was modified after qualifying and additional power unit elements were used.
United States Grand Prix Qualifying
- Carlos Sainz (Ferrari)
- Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)*
- Max Verstappen (Red Bull)
- Sergio Perez (Red Bull)*
- Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
- George Russell (Mercedes)
- Lance Stroll (Aston Martin)
- Lando Norris (McLaren)
- Fernando Alonso (Alpine)*
- Vallteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo)
- Alex Albon (Williams)
- Sebastian Vettel (Aston Marin)
- Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri)
- Zhou Guanyu (Alfa Romeo)*
- Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri)*
- Kevin Magnussen (Haas)
- Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren)
- Esteban Ocon (Alpine)*
- Mick Schumacher (Haas)
- Nicholas Latifi (Williams)
* Leclerc starts twelfth, Perez ninth, Alonso fourteenth, Zhou eighteenth, Tsunoda nineteenth and Ocon will start from the pit lane.