Carlos Sainz on pole for the United States Grand Prix, ahead of Max Verstappen


The US Grand Prix is ​​live on BBC Radio 5 Live and on the BBC Sport website

Carlos Sainz took pole position for the United States Grand Prix, beating Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.

Sainz leads Leclerc by 0.065s and Verstappen by 0.092s, but the new world champion is second as Leclerc has a 10-place grid penalty.

Red Bull’s Sergio Perez, who has a five-place grid penalty, was fourth ahead of Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton.

Due to the penalty, Hamilton will start third behind Sainz and Verstappen.

After qualifying, Verstappen paid tribute to Red Bull co-owner Dietrich Mateschitz, who died earlier on Saturday aged 78.

Verstappen, who will equal the record number of wins in a season with victory on Sunday, said: “It’s been tough news for everyone. It’s been a tough day for Red Bull and the sport and especially for me.

“We tried to give everything in qualifying, but there is still a race ahead of us and we will try to do ourselves proud tomorrow.

“Usually our car is a little stronger in the race than in qualifying. Today’s margins were very thin. If the tires were a little better, it could have made the difference. But we are there and I expect a good race tomorrow.”

Sainz said: “It was a lot of fun. Very difficult with the wind we have today, very gusty, every corner is an adventure, you don’t know how much grip you’re going to get in each corner.

“Tomorrow, Red Bull is still the favorite. They have a better race pace. They usually put us in the races, but we will do everything we can to stay ahead and win the race.”

Christian Horner
It was a very uneventful weekend for Red Bull with the team accusing their rivals of a “concerted campaign” over the budget cap dispute.

Did Hamilton miss an opportunity?

Hamilton was third after Mercedes’ first qualifying races since the Dutch Grand Prix in early September.

He was ahead of Verstappen in the latter part of the standings after the first runs, but he made a mistake at the start of his final lap and dropped as he failed to improve.

He was followed by Mercedes team-mate George Russell in sixth, while Lance Stroll surprised the head of the Aston Martin midfield in seventh.

McLaren’s Lando Norris was eighth ahead of Fernando Alonso, and will be disappointed with ninth after looking strong at Alpine all weekend, especially with a five-place grid penalty. His, like Leclerc and Perez, is due to the use of too many engine parts.

Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas completed the top 10, ahead of the impressive Alex Albon for Williams.

More to follow