Verstappen takes pole for USGP

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LE CASTELLET, FRANCE - JUNE 19: Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Red Bull Racing prepares to drive in the garage during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of France at Circuit Paul Ricard on June 19, 2021 in Le Castellet, France. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202106190108 // Usage for editorial use only //

Admittedly, I have not had a chance to digest all of the news over the weekend apart from Valtteri Bottas taking another engine change and some other Mercedes-powered teams doing the same in Austin for the US Grand Prix.

I’m moving this weekend, or as my British friends would say, “I’m moving house”, but I did manage to watch Fp1, 2 and three as well as qualifying. Amidst boxes in the daunting task of packing a home containing 21 years of memories, I managed to hear talk of Mercedes nursing an engine issue and a lot of talk about their crafty tail-tucking chassis at speed.

While many scoffed at Red Bull two weeks ago for making noise about the straight-line speed advantage Merc had, ultimately it may not have been engine related, as initially argued, but chassis and aero related.

Coming into FP1, I would say that advantage was still very much clear but as the weekend lumbered on, Mercedes either lost pace or Red Bull found it.

On Saturday, Max Verstappen took pole over Lewis Hamilton by a couple of tenths or so and both start ahead of Sergio Perez who has had a terrific weekend so far. Bottas will start down in 9th due to grid penalty.

USGP Qualifying Results:

PosNameCarQ1Q2Q3
1Max VerstappenRed Bull-Honda1m34.352s1m33.464s1m32.91s
2Lewis HamiltonMercedes1m34.579s1m33.797s1m33.119s
3Sergio PérezRed Bull-Honda1m34.369s1m34.178s1m33.134s
4Valtteri BottasMercedes1m34.59s1m33.959s1m33.475s
5Charles LeclercFerrari1m34.153s1m33.928s1m33.606s
6Carlos Sainz Jr.Ferrari1m34.558s1m34.126s1m33.792s
7Daniel RicciardoMcLaren-Mercedes1m34.407s1m34.643s1m33.808s
8Lando NorrisMcLaren-Mercedes1m34.551s1m33.88s1m33.887s
9Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri-Honda1m34.567s1m34.583s1m34.118s
10Yuki TsunodaAlphaTauri-Honda1m35.36s1m35.137s1m34.918s
11Esteban OconAlpine-Renault1m35.747s1m35.377s
12Sebastian VettelAston Martin-Mercedes1m35.281s1m35.5s
13Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1m35.92s1m35.794s
14Fernando AlonsoAlpine-Renault1m35.756s1m44.549s
15George RussellWilliams-Mercedes1m35.746s
16Lance StrollAston Martin-Mercedes1m35.983s
17Nicholas LatifiWilliams-Mercedes1m35.995s
18Kimi RäikkönenAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1m36.311s
19Mick SchumacherHaas-Ferrari1m36.499s
20Nikita MazepinHaas-Ferrari1m36.796s
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