Lewis Hamilton has put his Mercedes on pole position for Sunday's United States GP, edging team mate Nico Rosberg by little more than two tenths of a second. Daniel Ricciardo was the closest competitor and ended up in third with his Red Bull.
Pascal Wehrlein became the first driver to set a time in qualifying, opting to go out early as he could well use another few laps after he spent most of FP3 in the pits after beaching his car after just 17 minutes.
Sergio Perez however was in fact set to go out on track first, but he stopped his car at the end of the pitlane. It appears like some miscommunication within the team caused him to be released too early.
After the Haas and Sauber drivers also set early times on the board, it was time for everybody else to get on track, resulting in all cars running 8 minutes into the session. With all drivers by then on super softs, it were the Mercedes cars who had the advantage. In fact, Hamilton and Rosberg topped the timesheet while using used super soft tyres, the only two drivers to do so at that stage.
In the closing stages it was Grosjean who lost out, along with Magnussen, Button, Wehrlein, Nasr and Ocon. Button in particular was badly hampered by traffic on his flying lap, which he completed when all others were still on their out lap to start their final attempt. In the final sector, he passed 6 cars, with Palmer probably the most difficult as he was on the racing line in the final corner. The Renault driver quickly excused himself, saying over the radio "Sorry, I didn't see. It's my fault".
In the second part, Rosberg and Hamilton were out early, this time opting to use new sets of the soft tyres. Verstappen similarly chose new softs while all others opted to use the faster super soft tyres.
Ricciardo went a tenth faster than both Mercedes while Vettel, Raikkonen and Verstappen were 4th to 6th.
Alonso meanwhile, ending up 10th after his first attempt on used tyres, complained over the radio "it would be nice if we didn't lose our lap on the straights", pointing towards the unfavourable top speed of his McLaren around this track.
The Spaniard returned to the track in the final minutes on a set of new super softs, but did get eliminated nonetheless as Sainz and Hulkenberg joined Red Bull, Mercedes, Ferrari and Williams into the top 10 shoot-out.
In the final 12 minute section, Rosberg started his lap first, followed by Hamilton, Verstappen, Vettel and Raikkonen. Ricciardo followed about a minute later and ended up third fastest after the first string of flying laps. Hamilton edged out Rosberg on that attempt by just 0.072, largely thanks to Rosberg going wide through turn 1. The setting was made though, with Mercedes around half a second ahead of Red Bull and another half a second more to Ferrari.
On the second outing, everybody improved, but only Raikkonen managed to make that count by moving up into 5th. Hamilton meanwhile could hardly improve of course, but an laptime improvement of another 3 tenths secured him of pole position for the United States GP, despite a brief hiccup on his gearbox during his last out-lap.
|3||3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Racing Tag Heuer||1:36.759||1:36.255||1:35.509||12|
|4||33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing Tag Heuer||1:36.613||1:36.857||1:35.747||12|
|7||27||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India Mercedes||1:36.950||1:36.626||1:36.628||12|
|8||77||Valtteri Bottas||Williams Mercedes||1:37.456||1:37.202||1:37.116||12|
|9||19||Felipe Massa||Williams Mercedes||1:37.402||1:37.214||1:37.269||12|
|10||55||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso Ferrari||1:37.744||1:37.175||1:37.326||14|
|11||11||Sergio Perez||Force India Mercedes||1:37.345||1:37.353||-||10|
|12||14||Fernando Alonso||McLaren Honda||1:37.913||1:37.417||-||11|
|13||26||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso Ferrari||1:37.844||1:37.480||-||12|
|14||21||Esteban Gutierrez||Haas Ferrari||1:38.053||1:37.773||-||10|
|16||9||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber Ferrari||1:38.040||1:39.356||-||11|
|17||8||Romain Grosjean||Haas Ferrari||1:38.308||-||-||8|
|19||22||Jenson Button||McLaren Honda||1:38.327||-||-||6|
|20||94||Pascal Wehrlein||Mrt Mercedes||1:38.548||-||-||9|
|21||12||Felipe Nasr||Sauber Ferrari||1:38.583||-||-||8|
|22||31||Esteban Ocon||Mrt Mercedes||1:38.806||-||-||8|