United States Grand Prix qualifying drama: Charles Leclerc takes pole, Verstappen's lap invalidated - WATCH
Charles Leclerc's sensational pole position triumph in a dramatic qualifying session at the United States Grand Prix is met with Max Verstappen's disappointment as his best lap is invalidated, relegating him to sixth place on the grid.
In a thrilling qualifying session at the United States Grand Prix, Charles Leclerc of Ferrari secured his third pole position of the season, while Max Verstappen faced disappointment with his best lap invalidated, pushing him down to sixth on the grid. Leclerc exhibited dominant speed, clocking the fastest lap at one minute and 34.723 seconds, edging out McLaren's Lando Norris by a mere tenth of a second. The seven-time world champion, Lewis Hamilton, driving for Mercedes, claimed the third position.
Carlos Sainz, Leclerc's Ferrari teammate, clinched fourth place, followed by George Russell in the second Mercedes. Verstappen initially held pole position before his lap was nullified due to track limit violations at Turn 19. Leclerc's 21st career pole position provides him with an opportunity to challenge Verstappen's quest for a 50th career victory in the upcoming race on Sunday.
Leclerc expressed his satisfaction, saying, "I am very happy with my qualifying and to take pole position." Lando Norris, securing a front-row start, described it as a "bonus for the team." Meanwhile, Hamilton celebrated his car's performance upgrades and the challenging Circuit of the Americas, stating, "I will give it my best shot tomorrow."
The session featured intense competition and challenging track conditions, with Leclerc setting an early fastest lap. Nico Hulkenberg briefly took the lead, capitalizing on significant upgrades for his Haas team. Eventually, Ferrari dominated with Sainz leading Leclerc. Q1 saw disappointments for Aston Martin as Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll failed to advance.
In Q2, Mercedes and Verstappen were initially at the forefront, but Ferrari regained momentum. Leclerc took the lead, followed by Hamilton and Sainz. The final showdown in Q3 featured a battle among 10 cars from five teams, with Leclerc leading the way.
The qualifying session sets the stage for an exciting United States Grand Prix, with Charles Leclerc aiming to maintain his pole position and Max Verstappen seeking a comeback from his sixth-place start.