Max Verstappen will start sixth in Sunday’s Formula 1 United States Grand Prix. The fastest time of the Dutch Red Bull driver, who had already won his third world title in the previous grand prix, was canceled due to a departure from the track. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) starts from pole position.
Verstappen drove to a 1’34.718 on his final lap, but then heard that this time was not valid. Leclerc thus took first place with a score of 1,34,723. Lando Norris (McLaren) recorded the third fastest time with a time of 1:34.853, ahead of Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton with a time of 1:34.862.
Verstappen set the third fastest time in the first session (Q1), behind Hamilton and Norris. Aston Martin driver Fernando Alonso, who has reached Q3 in every race this season, was stranded with the 17th fastest time. Teammate Lance Stroll and Williams drivers Logan Sargeant and Alexander Albon were also unsuccessful. Verstappen set the second fastest time in Q2, behind Leclerc.
The Dutchman had set the fastest time earlier on Friday during the only free practice in Austin. Just as two weeks ago in Qatar, where Verstappen became world champion for the third time in a row, there is a sprint race on the program in Texas. On Saturday, drivers must qualify in a shootout for the sprint race later in the day. The grand prize follows on Sunday.
Verstappen has won the last two editions of the United States Grand Prix. If he can win for the third time in a row on Sunday, he will equal his Formula 1 record with his 15th win of the season. This will also be his 50th Grand Prix win, putting him one win away from Frenchman Alain Prost in the all-time world rankings.
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