Max Verstappen third in qualifying America: 'A good result'

Published on 03 November 2019 by Kees-Jan Koster

Max Verstappen qualified third for the United States Grand Prix. During a thrilling qualifying at the Circuit of the Americas Max set a fastest time of 1:32.096 putting him 0.067 seconds behind the man on pole, Valtteri Bottas. Sebastian Vettel took second position, only twelve thousand of a second behind the Mercedes driver.

After qualifying Max says excited: “To be competitive on this trick is a good result for us. In the end we were very close, of course you would like those 67 thousands to be to your advantage, but it was not. The track evolved a bit in Q3 and that was somehow not so good for me. The rear of the car came out too much. So in the first sector where I had to make the difference, I was not able to. Of course that is a shame, but in the last two Grand Prix’ qualifying was good for us.”

Verstappen sees enough opportunities for the race: “Normally we do quite well in the race. In comparison with last year we did a lot better in qualifying. This gives hope for tomorrow, so we will see what happens.”

Under a blazing sun and a temperature of 20 degrees Celsius qualifying in Austin gets underway. The Ferrari of Charles Leclerc is fixed in time after an oil leak in the third free practice session. Max sets a 1:33.549 in his first flying lap of Q1 on the soft tyre compound putting himself in second position. Verstappen does not come out again during the first part of qualifying and gets safely through to Q2. The dropouts after Q1 are the Alfa Romeo’s of Antonio Giovinazzi (P16) and Kimi Raikkonen (P17), George Russell (P18), Sergio Perez (P19) and finally Robert Kubica.

In Q2 Max, as well as both Ferraris and Mercedes, comes out on a set of medium tyres. The Dutchman sets a time of 1:33.120 which is good for third position. Aston Martin Red Bull Racing teammate Alexander Albon sets the fastest time on a set of soft tyres. Max does come out on the soft tyres for a second run, just in case. In the out lap it is a ‘close call’ when Hamilton and Verstappen almost have contact, but the incident does not have any implications for any of them. Max does not improve on the soft tyres. That means that Verstappen will start the race on the medium compound tyres. Also with fifth position he is through to Q3. Dropouts after the second part of qualifying are: Nico Hulkenberg (P11), Kevin Magnussen (P12), Daniil Kvyat (P13), Lance Stroll (P14) and Romain Grosjean (P15).

In the third and final part of qualifying Max takes third position in his first lap (1:32.191), while Valtteri Bottas sets the fastest time. A second run fallows, in which Verstappen improves his time to 1:32.096, but stays in third position. Nobody sets a faster time than Bottas, so the Finn takes his fifth pole of the season. Sebastian Vettel finishes only 0.012 seconds behind Bottoas. Charles Leclerc finishes in fourth position, with Lewis Hamilton and Alexander Albon in P5 and P6. The McLaren’s of Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris finish in P7 and P8, while Danial Ricciardo and Pierre Gasly complete the top ten.

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Results qualifying United-states:

posdriverteamq1q2q3
1Valtteri BottasBOTMercedes1:33.7501:33.1601:32.029
2Sebastian VettelVETFerrari1:33.7661:32.7821:32.041
3Max VerstappenVERRed Bull Racing Honda1:33.5491:33.1201:32.096
4Charles LeclercLECFerrari1:33.9881:32.7601:32.137
5Lewis HamiltonHAMMercedes1:33.4541:33.0451:32.321
6Alexander AlbonALBRed Bull Racing Honda1:33.9841:32.8981:32.548
7Carlos SainzSAIMcLaren Renault1:33.9161:33.4221:32.847
8Lando NorrisNORMcLaren Renault1:33.3531:33.3161:33.175
9Daniel RicciardoRICRenault1:33.8351:33.6081:33.488
10Pierre GaslyGASScuderia Toro Rosso Honda1:33.5561:33.7151:33.601
11Nico HulkenbergHULRenault1:34.0921:33.815
12Kevin MagnussenMAGHaas Ferrari1:33.8121:33.979
13Daniil KvyatKVYScuderia Toro Rosso Honda1:34.1381:33.989
14Lance StrollSTRRacing Point BWT Mercedes1:33.9211:34.100
15Romain GrosjeanGROHaas Ferrari1:34.1611:34.158
16Antonio GiovinazziGIOAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari1:34.226
17Kimi RäikkönenRAIAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari1:34.369
18George RussellRUSWilliams Mercedes1:35.372
19Sergio PerezPERRacing Point BWT Mercedes1:35.808
20Robert KubicaKUBWilliams Mercedes1:35.889