Carlos Sainz qualified on pole position for the 2022 United States Grand Prix with a sensational lap at the Circuit of the Americas, beating out Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc who came second.
Windy conditions in Austin made life somewhat difficult for the drivers, particularly going into Turn 1, but Sainz made no mistake and was 0.065 seconds ahead of Leclerc.
“It was fun, a lot of fun. It was tricky with the winds, so gusty that it is a bit of an adventure with these cars,” Sainz said after Qualifying.
“I managed to put a lap together with no mistakes. Pole position has been a long time coming.
“I think tomorrow Red Bull are favourites, they have a strong race pace but we’ll do everything we can to try and stay ahead and win.”
Verstappen put his Red Bull in third place, but he will move up to second on the starting grid for the race as Leclerc has a 10-place penalty.
Lewis Hamilton, who put the Mercedes in third place after the first runs of Q3, eventually qualified in fifth, but will also start higher up the grid due to penalties.
Sergio Perez in the second Red Bull was fourth, and Mercedes‘ George Russell in sixth, ensured the big three teams cemented their dominance.
Just when it looked like McLaren driver Lando Norris was going to exit Qualifying, a deleted lap time from Guanyu Zhou saw the Alfa Romeo driver drop down to 14th place and was thus eliminated.
There was double disappointment for AlphaTauri as Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda both finding life difficult at the Circuit of the Americas, with the Frenchman in particular ranting on team radio about the car’s performance.
American heartache in Texas
Haas, at their home Grand Prix, had a nightmare and were unable to get out of Q1 as Mick Schumacher spun on his last flying lap, while Kevin Magnussen was just less than two hundredths of a second away from Q2
There was further disappointment for McLaren‘s Daniel Ricciardo as he was eliminated from Qualifying early on. But the biggest surprise was Esteban Ocon in the Alpine who only managed to qualify in 18th place.