Red Bull’s Max Verstappen finished ahead of title rival Lewis Hamilton to take pole position in the United States Grand Prix qualifying.
Hamilton, who finished second, took provisional pole towards the end of Q3 but Verstappen continued to apply pressure on the Mercedes driver.
Despite some light rain starting to fall in the final moments, Verstappen kept up the pace and carried the momentum through the final set of corners to take pole with a 1m32.910s.
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Speaking to F1 after the race, Verstappen said: “It was quite exciting out there!
“In Q3, my first lap wasn’t amazing, and then in the final lap it also started spitting – like a bit of drizzle in the last sector especially – so I was not sure I was going to hang on to my lap time, but it was enough and of course to put the lap time in and be in pole position - but also to be P1 and P3 as a team - I think was a very strong performance.”

Sergio Pérez, Max Verstappen (Red Bull) - GP of United States of America 2021

Image credit: Getty Images

Leclerc was fastest in Q1 as Red Bull edged out Mercedes, with Daniel Ricciardo setting the pace early as Mercedes lacked pace to contend at the top end.
The latter sent out Hamilton and Bottas for a second run on used soft tyres and despite improving, still remained outside the top five.
In Q2 both Mercedes and Red Bull switched to medium tyres, with both teams avoiding soft tyres that aren't very durable in race conditions.
Verstappen enjoyed an electric lap to top the charts, 0.333s quicker than Hamilton. Lando Norris, Charles Leclerc, Valtteri Bottas and Carlos Sainz completed the top six.

Valtteri Bottas, Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) - GP of United States of America 2021

Image credit: Getty Images

It was in Q3 where we saw title rivals Hamilton and Verstappen go to battle. Mercedes went early with Bottas taking provisional pole, Hamilton second with Norris slotting into third.
Sergio Perez’s first run was enough to see him go top, 0.19s ahead of Verstappen,as Red Bull commanded the front row with one run to go.
Hamilton dug deep on his second attempt and looked to prove problematic for Verstappen, but lost two tenths in the final sector and only managed P1.
Verstappen took his chance to take his fourth pole position in six races.
Verstappen’s teammate Perez finished third, whilst Hamilton’s colleague Bottas and Ferrari’s Leclerc finished fourth and fifth respectively.
Bottas however, will drop to ninth after a five-place grid penalty for exceeding his engine allocation.
The United States Grand Prix gets underway on Sunday night at 8pm BST.
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