Qualifying for the sprint race at the American GP: Verstappen takes pole

Max Verstappen starts at the front tonight in the sprint race in Texas

After a qualifying session in which the young dogs – Leclerc, Norris, Sainz, Russell – and old hand Lewis Hamilton struggled to the front, it is clear how close the cars are during the 2023 American GP. New world champion Max Verstappen had to watch how his pole-taking lap time was declared invalid due to track limits, relegating him to sixth on the grid. What are his chances today in the fifth sprint race of the season?

Shootout 1

It's partly cloudy – but obviously warm – when the No. 1 shootout gets underway in Austin. The two Ferraris shoot to the top of the rankings, but Verstappen sets a time that is another three tenths below that. While Lando Norris achieved a second fastest time yesterday, he now cannot get further than tenth place. Alex Albon surprisingly takes third place; yesterday both Williams failed to get past Q1. Hamilton has a moment with a slowing Tsunoda, and George Russell gets in the way of Charles Leclerc for a while – "penalty for him, and thank you," the Monegasque says over the radio. Both Haas drivers, Bottas, a scolding Tsunoda and Sargeant did not make it to the next session.

Shootout 2

The first time on the board in this 10-minute shootout belongs to Verstappen. As the sun breaks through, he sets the tone with a 1:35.181, a time that Leclerc can approach to within two tenths, followed by Sainz, Norris and Pérez. With barely a minute and a half left on the clock, Verstappen makes another attempt to further secure his position, but he loses the Red Bull at the bumpy Turn 9. He makes a perfect 360, partly through the grass, and fortunately can continue his way without damage. The head of the field remains unchanged as well; at the back, Ricciardo, Alonso, Ocon, Stroll and Zhou bite the dust.

Shootout 3

While the first two sessions had to be held on medium tyres, the ten remaining cars in the third shootout will be on soft tyres. They can only complete one round; with two and a half minutes to go, Verstappen is again the first to set a time. He makes a mistake in the first sector, after which Norris immediately improves his time there. In the rest of the lap, the champion does enough to stay ahead of the Brit, although it is close: almost exactly a tenth of a second. Yet Leclerc and Hamilton still manage to get in between, which decides the top three of tonight's sprint race.

Result of the qualifying for the sprint race of the 2023 American GP

Max Verstappen Charles Leclerc Lewis Hamilton Lando Norris Oscar Piastri Carlos Sainz Sergio Pérez George Russell Alexander Albon Pierre Gasly Daniel Ricciardo Fernando Alonso Esteban Ocon Lance Stroll Zhou Guanyu Nico Hülkenberg Kevin Magnussen Valtteri Bottas Yuki Tsunoda Logan Sargeant ## What time does F1 start in America?

Saturday (or actually Sunday...) Sprint race: 00:00 - 01:00

Sunday Race: 9:00 PM