Qualifying for an F1 race in Las Vegas for the first time since 1982. Given that not only the sporting interests but also the commercial interests are high, the teams’ nerves were high. Ferrari seemed to be favorites for pole, but based on the last practice session we could prepare for an exciting qualifying.
In Q1 Ferrari immediately showed that it was fast with Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz at the top of the results. However, we also got a big surprise because after a strong performance in Brazil, both McLaren drivers were immediately eliminated. Zak Brown, the American CEO of McLaren, was clearly ‘not amused’.
We also got a big surprise in Q2. Lewis Hamilton and Sergio Perez were both eliminated, while respective teammates George Russell and Max Verstappen were able to advance to Q3. Ferrari once again confirmed that it was very fast with a fastest time for Charles Leclerc and a second time for Carlos Sainz.
Ferrari entered Q3 as the big favorite for pole position and during the first series of fast runs we saw Charles Leclerc drive to a provisional fastest time with a time of 1:33.021. Teammate Carlos Sainz, who has a grid penalty, followed just 0.022 seconds. Max Verstappen also showed himself because, unlike in Q1 and Q2, Verstappen was almost as fast as the Ferraris, 0.083 seconds slower than Leclerc to be precise.
During the second series of fast runs, Charles Leclerc managed to improve his time by another three tenths. Leclerc was therefore assured of pole position, Carlos Sainz also improved and finished 0.044 seconds behind Leclerc. However, Sainz has to go back ten places on the grid due to a grid penalty. Max Verstappen drove the third fastest time and will therefore start on the front row next to Leclerc.
1 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:33.617s 1:32.775s 1:32.726s