Austin (Texas), Oct 23 (Ajit Weekly News) Spanish F1 driver Carlos Sainz stormed to pole position in qualifying for the 2022 United States Grand Prix late on Saturday in his Ferrari, where grid penalties will see Red Bull’s Max Verstappen join him on the front row and the Mercedes start on the second row.
Red Bull co-owner Dietrich Mateschitz’s passing cast a shadow over the paddock ahead of qualifying, with the likes of Red Bull team principal Christian Horner, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff, and Formula 1 president and CEO Stefano Domenicali paying tribute to the energy drinks co-founder.
Sainz topped Qualifying 1 (Q1) and team-mate Charles Leclerc Q2, leaving Ferrari front-runners when it came to the top-10 shootout. The Monegasque driver set a provisional pole lap early in Q3, but had a 10-place grid penalty incoming for engine changes, while Red Bull’s Sergio Perez and Alpine’s Fernando Alonso would be demoted five places each.
Sainz’s second flying lap however saw him eclipse his team-mate with a time of 1m 34.356s, taking Ferrari’s first pole in Austin, with Leclerc 0.065s off in P2 before his penalty kicked in. Max Verstappen finished third in qualifying but will start on the front row, while Perez finished fourth before his penalty.
Lewis Hamilton rounded out the top five but is set for a second row start, while team-mate George Russell is set to join him, having qualified sixth, according to formula1.com.
Also shuffling forward will be P7 qualifier Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll, ahead of McLaren’s Lando Norris. Alonso will drop five places after qualifying ninth on the grid, which will further promote 10th-place qualifier Valtteri Bottas.
Alex Albon qualified 11th for Williams ahead of Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel, while Pierre Gasly was frustrated with a lack of braking performance as he locked up on the way to P13. Zhou Guanyu seemed safe for Q3 but had his final lap deleted and qualified 14th — which will become 19th once his five-place penalty kicks in. Yuki Tsunoda qualified 15th but is set to be promoted at Zhou’s expense.
Also to be promoted a place will be Kevin Magnussen, who lost out on a spot in Q2 by 0.018s, while Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon struggled to P17 and P18, respectively. Mick Schumacher spun on his final Q1 lap and qualified 19th, while Nicholas Latifi qualified last and is set to start 20th for Williams.
–Ajit Weekly News
News Credits – I A N S