December 5, 2023

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Qualifying results United States: Verstappen loses pole position to Leclerc due to track limitations

Qualifying results United States: Verstappen loses pole position to Leclerc due to track limitations

The starting lineup for the American Grand Prix has been announced. Qualifying took place at the Circuit of the Americas, with Charles Leclerc taking pole. He was faster than Lando Norris who posted the second fastest time. Lewis Hamilton completed the top three.


At the start of the first part of qualifying, it was immediately busy on the Circuit of the Americas. It was urgent and great players so had to wait a while. Max Verstappen entered the track just four minutes later, but he had to make a second run shortly after. The track got faster and faster, which meant everyone had to pay attention. Even the experienced Fernando Alonso knew it, but he couldn’t do it. To everyone’s surprise, the strong-performing Spaniard exited in Q1. Nico Hülkenberg, Alexander Albon, Lance Stroll and home driver Logan Sargeant are also out.


Even at the start of the second part of qualifying, nobody left anything to chance. As the danger of lane limits lurked again, almost everyone hit the trail. Daniel Ricciardo felt this firsthand. The Australian lost his lap time and with it his chance to surprise on his return weekend. Apart from him, Yuki Tsunoda, Guanyu Cho, Valtteri Bottas and Kevin Magnussen also found their Waterloo.


The differences were small and the drivers all knew they actually had a chance at pole position. Only Alpines was slightly behind, but the remaining eight drivers were competitive. Max Verstappen didn’t have a strong first run, reacting furiously to the on-board radio as his team-mate Sergio Perez drove ahead of him. Things went well in his second run as he looked set to steal pole position from Leclerc. However, it went wrong as he exceeded the track limits. This only relegated him to the sixth fastest time. It was very disappointing.

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Circuit of the Americas – October 20, 2023