Hamilton sweeps every session on the way to US F1 GP pole position
Mercedes
Posted By: Editor   |  21 Oct 2017   |  11:11 pm GMT  |  106 comments

Lewis Hamilton took pole position for the United States Formula 1 Grand Prix to start the race alongside Sebastian Vettel. With his 117th front-row start, Hamilton has overtaken Michael Schumacher’s record.

The Briton, having led every session of the weekend, eclipsed his 2016 pole time of 1m34.99s with a Q3 effort of 1m33.108s, 0.239 seconds ahead of his Ferrari rival.

Hamilton also topped FP3 by 0.09s over Vettel. Team-mate Valtteri Bottas and Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo start on the second row for the race.

Max Verstappen’s 15-place grid penalty, due to a sixth engine and MGU-H, hampered his sixth place qualification.

McLaren-Honda’s Stoffel Vandoorne and Toro Rosso stand-in Brendon Hartley took a five and 25-place grid penalty, respectively as Renault implemented 2018 engine parts pre-emptively.

The final Renault-powered driver to have taken a grid penalty was Nico Hulkenberg, who has a 20-place demotion for the race.

All five races at Austin have been won from the front-row of the grid.

Q1

Hamilton topped the session with a time of 1m34.822s as traffic backed up a number of flying efforts. His time, on super-softs, was 0.077s faster than that of Q1 runner-up Verstappen.

Bottas finished third, a tenth of Vettel while Renault’s new driver Carlos Sainz Jr finished fifth. Kimi Raikkonen filed in seventh, with an unceremonious gap of 0.827s between him and Hamilton.

Fernando Alonso finished eighth ahead of Hulkenberg and Esteban Ocon, who rounded out the top 10.

World Endurance Championship frontrunner Hartley was eliminated in 18th, behind Lance Stroll and Marcus Ericsson. The Sauber driver missed out on Q2 by 0.007s.

Stroll (17th) was under investigation for impeding Grosjean, who recovered on his final lap to finish the session 15th, eliminating Ericsson for the 15th time in a row.

Haas’ Kevin Magnussen was eliminated in 20th with a time of 1m37.394s.

Q2

Attired with ultra-softs, Hamilton set a benchmark time of 1m33.560s as the Ferraris showed signs of wilting.

Hamilton improved to set a time of 1m33.437s to remain in first, finishing 0.332s ahead of second place team-mate Bottas.

Raikkonen filed in 0.403s off the top, with Vettel another two tenths away.

On super-softs, Verstappen finished sixth anticipating his grid penalty, behind Ricciardo who finished two tenths ahead in fourth place as Red Bull opted for just a single flying lap.

Alonso finished ninth to book his Honda-powered Mclaren a place in Q3 for the first time at Austin, while Ocon finished 10th in Q2 for the sixth time this season.

With his final effort, Sergio Perez (seventh) moved into the top 10 to push Felipe Massa into the drop-zone.

Returnee Daniil Kvyat, Mclaren’s Vandoorne and Haas’ Grosjean were also eliminated in 12th, 13th and 14th, respectively.

Hulkenberg sat the session out as his 20-place penalty beckoned, so the Renault driver finished 15th to end a 20-race streak of out-qualifying team-mates which began at the 2016 US GP.

Q3

Clocking 280kmh (174mph) with a soft touch through the first few corners, Hamilton lay down the gauntlet in Q3 with a time of 1m33.108s on a fresh set of ultra-softs.

Vettel, with a blistering effort, jumped to second with a time of 1m33.347s to ruin Mercedes’ hopes of a 50th front-row lockout.

Bottas settled for third, 0.460s off the top and 0.009s ahead of fourth place Ricciardo, who set the same time as fifth place Raikkonen.

Penalty-hit Verstappen finished sixth, 0.550s behind Hamilton, while Ocon – who will be promoted a place – was another second back in seventh.

Sainz finished a tenth ahead of ninth place Alonso while 10th place Perez took the final Q3 spot.

Will Lewis Hamilton beat Sebastian Vettel to a US Formula 1 GP victory? Have your say in the comment section below.

Provisional Grid, US F1 GP:

POSITION

DRIVER

CAR

TIME

GAP

1

Lewis Hamilton

Mercedes

1m33.108s

2

Sebastian Vettel

Ferrari

1m33.347s

0.239s

3

Valtteri Bottas

Mercedes

1m33.568s

0.460s

4

Daniel Ricciardo

Red Bull

1m33.577s

0.469s

5

Kimi Raikkonen

Ferrari

1m33.577s

0.469s

6

Esteban Ocon

Force India

1m34.647s

1.539s

7

Carlos Sainz Jr

Renault

1m34.852s

1.744s

8

Fernando Alonso

McLaren

1m35.007s

1.899s

9

Sergio Perez

Force India

1m35.148s

2.040s

10

Felipe Massa

Williams

1m35.155s

2.047s

11

Daniil Kvyat

Toro Rosso

1m35.529s

2.421s

12

Romain Grosjean

Haas

1m35.870s

2.762s

13

Marcus Ericsson

Sauber

1m36.842s

3.734s

14

Lance Stroll

Williams

1m36.868s

3.760s

15

Stoffel Vandoorne

McLaren

1m35.641s

2.533s

16

Pascal Wehrlein

Sauber

1m37.179s

4.071s

17

Kevin Magnussen

Haas

1m37.394s

4.286s

18

Max Verstappen

Red Bull

1m33.658s

0.550s

19

Nico Hulkenberg

Renault

20

Brendon Hartley

Toro Rosso

1m36.889s

3.781s

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1

Roverdrive Your post bares nor resemblance to reality Bottas is driving slowly all on his own

2

six more days and the fat lady’ll break into song!
rehearsals must be at their peak..

3

Hulkenberg sat the session out as his 20-place penalty beckoned, so the Renault driver finished 15th to end a 20-race streak of out-qualifying team-mates which began at the 2016 US GP.

I knew we or somebody would miss Palmer … his ability to contribute to amazing stats is unrivalled.

4

Bottas has been made to play second fiddle to Hamilton from mid season. When in Monaco it became quite clear that Ferrari were backing seb,Mercedes had to do the same. It’s no coincidence that every time seb pits he always comes out behind bottas and gets held up. So don’t be to hard on bottas as he’s only doing what he’s told.

5

Why is Kimi still driving?? We can ask this question almost every weekend!! What good is he for Ferrari or Vettel if he cant perform second best in second best car? It cant be just due to car.

6

Very good betting odds on Hamilton’s PU blowing up during the race.
With regards the penalty system, taking constructor points instead of penalising the driver won’t make any difference to the root cause…….costs.

7

Don’t you mean, Hulkenberg sat the session out because he didn’t want to be humiliated by Saintz?!

8
Torchwood Mobile

@Phil M

Nada, buddy.

Hulkenberg has a 20-race “unbeaten by team-mate in qualifying” streak. Without the imminent grid penalty, even the lowliest kart racer would at least have given it a shot.

9

Lewis Hamilton is on another planet at the moment ..He is 100% focused and unstoppable..

10

You’ve got to hand it to vettel. No matter how much improved the ferrari engine is this year it is still lacking on tracks where there are long periods on the throttle, the mercs still have a big advantage there.

For vettel to keep within 2-3 tenths is nothing short of examplary.

11

Its all on the plate for lewis.

12

On a side note, looking at the Renault engined teams and the factory team itself, is anyone else thinking McLaren may be doing much better next year ?

Im seeing RedBull with the Renault engines and they are doing well…and, it seems like McLaren have a great chassis under them so hopefully 2018 will see them towards the topper end of the grid? (here’s hoping)

13

The McLaren has great turn-in, they can keep tight in the corners.

Renault is reportedly going to make a step for next year, so all of the Renault-powered teams might take a relative step up.

14

Not convinced. Red Bull are some way off, Renault will ensure the works team will come first and customer teams will not be party to all engine modes. Consequentially McLaren will find themselves back where they were with Mercedes engines in 2013/14.

Red Bull will be throwing everything at getting the Honda engine up to speed. It could be another embarrassing year for McLaren, 4th place finishes are the best they can hope for as Ferrari and Mercedes won’t be standing still.

15

Assuming they can build a chassis with RedBull like efficiency. Its a big ask, and IMO is one of the most interesting unknowns for 2018.

16

A little off topic, but how rude can CH be when referring to DR? “He will only ever be a number 2 driver at Mercedes or Ferrari”…WTF? And what will he be at RBR where they are building the team around MV? And just the using of that phrase, invoking memories of the infamous “Not bad for a No. 2 driver” line from Webber.

I really can’t understand why RBR is treating DR like they are with comments from HM & CH like this. Shows the strength of character he must have to not bite back publically. There doesn’t seem to be much appreciation or affection for what DR has done for RBR the last few years. Wiping the floor with SV, the amazing passes, the consistency. He should get out ASAP!

17

Was that the interview with the Sky crew? CH did say that he wanted to keep Ricciardo, and was warning him from wanting to move away, with the #2 remark. The thing is, Ricciardo will know that’s bogus, as we all saw that Rosberg was allowed to compete equally with Hamilton, even after losing the first 3 seasons and 2 titles to him. Whereas the history at Red Bull has shown that while Webber had a decent chance at the title in 2010 – still with episodes of favouritism to Seb at Turkey & Silverstone – afterwards it was clear that RBR were not about to let Webber provide an internal challenge to Seb. Only in the first half of 2012, when Red Bull needed full points from both cars, was Webber allowed to race without restriction, post-2010.

18

Get out to where?

To be fair to CH et al – they have the data to look at, and objectively and quantifiably compare drivers, so they presumably know what they’re talking about….

I fear DR is the modern day Mark Webber – hugely likeable, fast and gritty, but destined to play second fiddle to his team-mate; be that Verstappen currently or Vettel / Hamilton in the future…

19

I agree Luke it must be an awful sinking feeling for Danny Ric right now and he most certainly doesn’t deserve it, but you can see the way RB are now leaning. They have to be careful though, DR has a lot of fans and many friends in pit lane..DR will have to be on top of his game to counter this threat and of course, this is exactly what Horner is counting on. I really hate these management methods..

20

At the start of Q3, kimi was faster than Seb. Kimi then apologized on the radio during the in lap, saying “ my mistake”. Does anybody know what he was apologizing for?? I couldn’t quite understand it on the German channel I watch😳🤔

21

I couldn’t understand English either. I think Kimi just really didn’t want to talk to anyone.

22

Not a Hamilton fan. But, this is probably the first year that he’s not had the car fully totally on side. It’s been even. The driver with the least amount of silly mistakes and most importantly the larger focus on the Title is ahead and that’s Hamilton.
This year he’s gone ahead of all his peers & Vettel has indeed come out looking like someone who had the best car by a yard when he won his titles.

Lewis > Sebastian
If only Fernando could get involved next year

23

I don’t think he has the fastest car on race pace but it seems to be more reliable which is making the difference until it doesn’t.

24

As long as you don’t get the two guys in the same car, your comparison is superfluous. Simple as that.
What you can say for sure is that Mercedes is by far a better car than what Red Bull was in its prime. Hence the dominance and the relativity of titles.
Only luck, or reds’ bad luck turned things around, don’t forget Vettel was on top for half of chamiponship. Then troubles struck…
Many could have got championships in Mercedes. And RB too. So, let’s keep things real.

25

AlanF1, this years Mercedes is better than the Red Bulls? Nope.

26

I think you might be on your own there Tim….barring a few predictable exceptions…

27

Lkfe, unfortunately you are not on your own in failing to read whole comment threads……

28

I read it alright…your contention that any of the 2010-2013 RB’s are better than this years MB is quite laughable. I’ll grant you that the field has caught up slightly this year (compared to 14/15/16), but only really when it’s blisteringly hot.
The results/qualy stats have been regurgitated a thousand times, so i’ll spare you.
Suffice it to say, that despite the ongoing domination, your Lewis IS having a very good year driving the car. The whiff of competition from Vettel has meant that he has had his A-game on ALL YEAR, which is a credit to him.
The aspect of the Mercedes domination that i have found most disheartening is that the performance gap was so vast, that one of the most talented drivers in the history of the sport could turn up, not necessarily focused, but still blow everyone away.

29

LKFE. Why so coy about the numbers? Let’s have a look, the 2017 Mercedes has won 64.7% of the races, and been on pole for 76.4%. 2011 Red Bull was on pole for a whopping 94.7%, but only won 63.15%, largely thanks to those dodgy Renault alternators. In 2013 the pole rate may have been a measly57.8%, but Red Bull did manage a Merc beating 68.4% win rate, thanks in no small part to Seb winning the last nine races in a row! Remember also that the Merc has been bomb proof this year, while their main competitor has dropped the ball a few times….
P.S, I appreciate your words in Lewis’ driving this year, he has done ok.

30

It was my first ever visit to a Grand Prix today and I must say it was quite something. Started watching F1 back in ’94 so this had been a long time coming. I was pitched out at turn 1 and the view was incredible. You really get a sense of the elevation change and how late the cars brake for the apex.

It was very interesting to notice how the different cars sounded under harvesting when they were braking and downshifting. The Ferrari and Mercedes cars sounded really smooth, whereas the Redbull sounded quite muted. By far the weirdest were the Williams and the McLaren; they sounded like they were farting.

On a separate note, I totally get how underwhelming the sound is because I could hear the historic cars all the way from the car park. It’s a bit sad when the two seater demo cars provide the best aural experience.

31

Enjoy it mate. Similar to me. Been watching and following f1 since 1987.
Silverstone this year was the first race I’ve ever been to. F1 was the fastest but least visceral experience of all the categories of racing. Shame really but I’d still go again!

32
Tornillo Amarillo

11:11 PM GMT

You post in my favourite time of the day 🙂

33

Lewis has been on it at COTA. The cars looked great – though sometimes a bit ragged – through the esses. Nice pole, but it just buys you 8 metres.

✔ Qualifying
❓ Start
❓ Opening laps
❓ Race pace
❓ Avoid contact from errant drivers
❓ Pit stops
❓ Race strategy
❓ Weather-related calls
❓ Reliability

I had totally forgotten about the qualifying delay because of the Justin Timberlake concert. I was certain it was on at 3pm EDT.

34

Great lap by Sebastian to be on the front row. He could get his revenge for the 2012 US GP loss to Hamilton.

Hamilton is in harmony with the diva and had another record breaking day. Bravo! He is in impeccable form.

Ricciardo loves this track and outqualified his teammate this time but there are suggestions that Max might be setup for the long fight back. Can anyone confirm?

Sainz was impressive today but the driver of qualifying for me was Alonso. What a lap!

35

“So how are you settling in Carlos?”
“Yeah, good thanks!” Great job from Sainz, Hartley did a good job as well, good enough to keep him in the car?
Closer at the front than I thought it would be, could be an interesting race tomorrow, Seb has nothing to lose now, he has to go for it.

36

Hartley acquitted himself well. Gotta say though, those old pics of Hartley are cringeworthy … such horrible hair!! Now he reminds me of a young Peter Murphy.

37

KRB, yep that terrible do should have been enough to get him sacked by Red Bull on its own! Good to see him get unsacked, we will see how he gets on in the race, but he was quick on the long runs, beating Kvyat would be a remarkable achievement.

38

I think Lewis could take the title tomorrow — as Vettel might have another DNF. I want to hear Vettel over the radio: “Houston, rather, Austin we have a problem!”

39

Lewis knows he only has to drive decently for 2 races to take the title. Vettel has to risk all.
Kimi was given the job of interfering with Lewis’s last lap, but an 8/10ths difference was too much for Vettel to overcome.
It’s overwhelming likely that Lewis will win, yay. Vettel will come second, any stupid aggressive moves will not help.
2018 is a new year, Ferrari should work on teamwork, reliability and a sane communication strategy.
I heard Ferrari talk at Spa, they’re weirdly paranoid. Surely they’re too smart to keep repeating that mistake?

40

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/motorsport/formulaone/6473980/Heikki-Kovalainen-warns-of-favouritism-towards-Lewis-Hamilton-at-McLaren.html

The Finn is expected to depart McLaren after this weekend’s inaugural race in Abu Dhabi, and like his predecessor Fernando Alonso, he will leave angry at the preferential treatment shown to co-driver Hamilton.

“It was always difficult to accept that Lewis was always the first to receive the new parts,” Kovalainen was quoted as saying in Finnish newspaper Helsingen Sanomat. “I have never wanted to make a big deal about it, but it would have been nice to just once had the new parts on my car, particularly after we lost the chance of winning the championship.”

Kovalainen has 22 points this season compared to Hamilton’s 49, but felt that difference would have been much smaller had the team been more even-handed in its alternate strategies.

“Every time this season, when Hamilton and I are in the third part of qualifying, I had to do it with more fuel. If you take into account the quantities of fuel, I would have had pole position several times.”

41

Obviously in 2008 Hamilton was their only chance at a title, so him getting parts preference then just makes total sense. In 2009, I think McLaren decided pretty early on that they were going to replace Heikki. They were courting Button from at least halfway through the 2009 season, so how best for the team to make the public case for a change in drivers?

42

Good qualy Lewis on pole Seb 2nd . Kimi and Dan set identical Q3 times . Sainz is doing an excellent job for Renault- he is a great signing for them . However I have to say I would love to see a similar scenario to Jerez 1997 qualifying this year at some time where the top 3 set identical times . That would be madness

43

Meanwhile Lewis really does have a special bond with the US e.g.

2007

Became the youngest race winner in the US at 22

2012

Became the only driver to win at different US circuits

2014

Became the most successful British race winner with 32 wins

2015

Won his 3rd title

2016

Scored his half century win

44
Clarks4WheelDrift

Jim Clark has won Watkins Glen and Indianapolis… could count as two different US circuits. 😉

45

Correction

Infact, Bruce Mclaren is the youngest winner in the US at 22 years 104 days

46

Home run performance by Lewis on pole, having topped all qualy sessions as well thereby showing that both Canada and US are Lewis’ best hunting grounds considering Canada/US 2007 were his first back to back pole/wins in his career.

Great final effort by Vettel to secure P2 thereby showing great determination in preventing the opera lady from coming on stage just yet

Top job by Ricciardo in P4 for not only outqualifying Max but Kimi as well thanks to a nice strategy play by the team by sending Ricciardo out ahead of Kimi

Ocon is doing a mighty fine job in Force India which is crucial as this means Perez won’t have permission to overtake him

Another star of qualy was Carlos with P8 having beaten Hulkenburg on pace despite being new to the team

Last but not least decent effort by Alonso in P9 as he tries to claw back the points deficit to Stoffel

47
Tornillo Amarillo

Hulk was shaking his head like saying “wow what a time” made by Carlos,

Go Carlitos Go!!!

48

Sainz beat Hulkenberg on pace?

I’m thinking that not only you didn’t watch the qualy, you also didn’t bother to read this article. Hulkenberg didn’t even participate in Q2 because of his 20 place grid penalty.

49

@ Neutron

Oh I see, thanks for the correction

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