Max Verstappen will start from pole position in Formula 1 for the ninth time this season on Sunday. The Dutchman was the fastest in Red Bull in the qualifying race for the US Grand Prix.
He was 0.209sec faster than his great rival Lewis Hamilton at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin. The British driver for Mercedes has set a second time limit, with the two title contenders starting the race from the front row. The qualifiers saw 120,000 spectators.
Sergio Perez set his third-fastest time in Red Bull, while Valtteri Bottas set the fourth-fastest time in his Mercedes. Thus the Mexican earned a place in the second row of the grid. Bottas returns to the ninth starting position, because the Finn has to go back five positions in the grid due to the new components in his engine.
24-year-old Verstappen leads the championship after sixteen grand prix. He is six points ahead of seven-times world champion Lewis Hamilton, who has won the Texas Grand Prix five times.
sexy lock in the rain
The qualifying race had an exciting final minute, with rain falling somewhat unexpectedly and Hamilton setting a time of 1.33.119. Verstappen managed to dive under Hamilton’s time despite falling off the track. His teammate Perez failed to reach 1.32.910 of Verstappen in his final attempt and Bottas couldn’t make it either.
The Dutchman yelled with joy in his center, because he also dealt another psychological blow to Hamilton. The season is coming to a close and Verstappen is increasingly achieving his big goal, which is to become the first Dutch motorsport world champion.
“It was very exciting,” Limberger said afterwards. “My first lap in the last qualifying session wasn’t great and on my second and last attempt I slipped here and there because of raindrops. I didn’t think I’d be faster than Hamilton. I’m in first and Sergio in third, so it’s a solid team result as well.”
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