Having dominated each qualifying segment, Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc set a 1m32.726s to snatch pole position at the Las Vegas Grand Prix, beating his team-mate Carlos Sainz in the Ferrari-dominated qualifying session. F1Technical's senior writer Balázs Szabó reports on the Las Vegas qualifying.Q1 - Shock for McLaren
After getting to grips with the Las Vegas Strip Circuit in practice, Ferrari's Charles Leclerc quickly indicated that he would be the driver to beat on the spectacular circuit. The Monégasque set a 1m33.617s with his team-mate Carlos Sainz posting the second-quickest time of the session.
George Russell and Max Verstappen were 3rd and 4th respectively, but they were over half a second separated from Leclerc.
McLaren endured a shock elimination in the opening segment of qualifying, as Lando Norris was a disappointing 16th, while Piastri only managed a P19.
Lando Norris, Esteban Ocon, Zhou Guanyu, Oscar Piastri, Yuki Tsunoda were eliminated at the end of Q1.Q2 - Shock for Hamilton and Perez
The second qualifying segment saw Leclerc lower the benchmark as the Monégasque set a blistering time of 1m32.775s. His team-mate Sainz took P2, but he was over half a second adrift of Leclerc's benchmark.
With the track offering more and more grip towards the end of the second segment, several drivers found a fairly big improvement on their last hot laps with Pierre Gasly, Alexander Albon, Logan Sargeant, Kevin Magnussen and Valtteri Bottas all displaying encouraging pace.
Lewis Hamilton and Sergio Perez suffered a surprise Q2 elimination. Speaking to his race engineer on the radio, the Mercedes driver admitted he simply “couldn’t go faster” on his second run.
Missing out on Q3 for the ninth time this season, the Mexican was also eliminated after Red Bull curiously opted against completing a second run at the end of Q2 while others improved.
Lewis Hamilton, Sergio Perez, Nico Hulkenberg, Lance Stroll and Daniel Ricciardo were eliminated at the end of Q2.
Q3 - Sainz closes in
After the first runs, Ferrari's Leclerc led the way with his team-mate Sainz taking second. When drivers reappeared on the Las Vegas circuit, the Monégasque was able to improve his previous benchmark, clocking a 1m32.726s to beat his Madrid-born team-mate by less than a tenth of a second.
Verstappen set his own best lap time of the weekend during his first run, but he was unable to improve that further on his second fresh set of Pirelli's soft tyres and had to settle for P3, four tenths of a second adrift of Ferrari's benchmark.
Russell, who struggled for pace on the opening day, but made inroads for Day 2 of the Las Vegas race weekend, secured P4, coming close to Verstappen's best time.
Alpine has had a few difficult weekends recently, but they have shown great pace with Pierre Gasly, who took fifth for the Anglo-French outfit.
As expected ahead of the weekend, Williams displayed mighty pace around the punishing fast Las Vegas track. Alexander Albon, who hit the barriers in FP3, managed a P6, beating his team-mate Logan Sargeant, who took a brilliant P7.
Alfa Romeo and Haas are locked in a close fight in the Constructors' Championship, and they were both quick and close in qualifying. Valtteri Bottas posted the 8th quickest for the Italian-Swiss outfit, narrowly beating Kevin Magnussen.
After displaying an encouraging pace in the practice sessions, Aston Martin's Fernando Alonso completed the top ten.
|3||1||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing Honda Rbpt||1:34.190||1:33.572||1:33.104||19|
|5||10||Pierre Gasly||Alpine Renault||1:34.272||1:33.494||1:33.239||25|
|6||23||Alexander Albon||Williams Mercedes||1:34.634||1:33.588||1:33.323||21|
|7||2||Logan Sargeant||Williams Mercedes||1:34.525||1:33.733||1:33.513||23|
|8||77||Valtteri Bottas||Alfa Romeo Ferrari||1:34.305||1:33.809||1:33.525||19|
|9||20||Kevin Magnussen||Haas Ferrari||1:34.337||1:33.664||1:33.537||23|
|10||14||Fernando Alonso||Aston Martin Aramco Mercedes||1:34.422||1:33.617||1:33.555||24|
|12||11||Sergio Perez||Red Bull Racing Honda Rbpt||1:34.574||1:33.855||14|
|13||27||Nico Hulkenberg||Haas Ferrari||1:34.265||1:33.979||17|
|14||18||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin Aramco Mercedes||1:34.504||1:34.199||18|
|15||3||Daniel Ricciardo||Alphatauri Honda Rbpt||1:34.683||1:34.308||18|
|16||4||Lando Norris||Mclaren Mercedes||1:34.703||9|
|17||31||Esteban Ocon||Alpine Renault||1:34.834||10|
|18||24||Zhou Guanyu||Alfa Romeo Ferrari||1:34.849||10|
|19||81||Oscar Piastri||Mclaren Mercedes||1:34.850||10|
|20||22||Yuki Tsunoda||Alphatauri Honda Rbpt||1:36.447||9|