F1 United States GP Live Commentary and Updates - FP3 and qualifying

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By: Haydn Cobb, Tom Howard

Summary

Summary

- Verstappen takes pole position for the US Grand Prix. The Red Bull driver snatches pole from Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton by 0.209s
- First time Mercedes not on pole in Austin since the start of the hybrid era  
- Verstappen fastest in Q2. Eliminated: Ocon (Alpine), Vettel (Aston Martin), Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo), Alonso (Alpine) and Russell (Williams)
- Leclerc tops Q1. Eliminated: Stroll (Aston Martin), Latifi (Williams), Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo), Schumacher (Haas) and Mazepin (Haas)
- Bottas set for five-place grid drop for engine change penalty
- Alonso takes full new power unit before FP3 and will start race from the back of the gird
- Vettel and Russell to also start from the back due to full power unit change penalties

Leaderboard
1. Verstappen, Red Bull
2. Hamilton, Mercedes
3. Perez, Red Bull
4. Bottas, Mercedes 
5. Leclerc, Ferrari 
6. Sainz, Ferrari 
7. Ricciardo, McLaren
8. Norris, McLaren
9. Gasly, AlphaTauri
10. Tsunoda, AlphaTauri
Status: Stopped
16:23 With the race nicely set up for tomorrow we'll tap out for tonight, but be sure to return for the main event. The race starts at 8pm BST (2pm local time) on Sunday and it looks a good'un.
16:17 Need a full recap on everything that happened in qualifying for the United States GP? Look no further: https://www.autosport.com/f1/news/f1-united-states-gp-verstappen-beats-hamilton-to-pole-position/6705118/
16:13 So, a front row of Verstappen and Hamilton. That's all the billing Sunday's race needs.
16:10 Hamilton on qualifying P2: "It was a bit of a struggle through qualifying and I think from FP1 we fell back a little bit. I was happy with my lap, you can always improve, but I think I got everything out of my lap."
16:09 Perez on his P3: "We were really close with that final lap. My final lap wasn't as good, I think the rain hit me in the final sector and I lost some grip in the final two corners and saw my delta drop."
16:08

Verstappen on his pole: "In Q3 my first lap wasn't amazing but in the final lap it started drizzling in the final sector so I wasn't sure if I could hold on to my lap time but it came together."

16:05
 
16:04 That is Verstappen's ninth pole of the season and first in the United States. It also marks the first time Mercedes won't start on pole in the V6 hybrid era at COTA.
16:03

Bottas ends qualifying fourth but with his five-place grid drop he will start the race from ninth place. That pushes Leclerc to fourth ahead of Sainz, Ricciardo, Norris and Gasly.

16:02 Verstappen takes pole position for the United States Grand Prix! A 1m32.910s beats Hamilton by 0.209s! Perez can't improve by the same rate and drops to third place.
16:00 ...Bottas fails to improve, while Hamilton goes provisional pole with a 1m33.119s. What can Red Bull do?
15:59 Q3 final lap time is here, Bottas is leading team-mate Hamilton on the track...
15:58 "If any rain arrives it will be at Turn 1 first. If it arrives it will be either class 1 or class 2," Norris is told over McLaren team radio. What's class 1 rain? Light drizzle?
15:57 A pleasing two by two formation has formed in the provisional top 10 qualifying places: Red Bull, Mercedes, Ferrari, McLaren and AlphaTauri in that order.
15:56 It is almost hard to believe Perez has never scored an F1 pole before. Could today be the day? Final Q3 runs coming up.
15:54 Perez is on provisional pole! He beats Verstappen's effort by just 0.019s. Both Red Bulls are over a quarter of a second faster than the Mercedes pair. Blimey.
15:53 And Bottas duly beats that with a 1m33.475s. What can the Red Bulls do in response?
15:52 No tow for Hamilton on his first Q3 effort as he's first in the train and sets the target of 1m33.564s.
15:51 "The wind has picked up," Hamilton is told over his Mercedes team radio. The cloud cover has also built up over the last few minutes and that's seen the track temperature dip ever so slightly. First Q3 laps coming up.
15:49 Eight of the 10 drivers in this pole shootout are already out on track. Just Verstappen and Perez the late comers. Or tardy, as they say in this part of the world.
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