Lewis Hamilton Leads Mercedes F1 Smack Down in USGP Qualifying

The three-time champ leads a Mercedes 1-2 at COTA

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AMG Mercedes F1 team driver Lewis Hamilton took the pole in the United States Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. The 31-year-old Brit turned a lap nearly a quarter second faster than his teammate, Nico Rosberg. That’s practically an eternity in F1 time.

But the domination didn’t stop there. Rosberg’s lap, in turn, was more than a quarter second faster than third place, wannabe Texan Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo. After Riccardo paced the second round of qualifying—and took second place behind his teammate in free practice three—many were wondering if Red Bull and the Aussie had some speed up their sleeve. Alas, that was not the case, and the Red Bull duo of Ricciardo and Max Verstappen will start the race third and fourth.

Further down the grid, Kimi Räikkönen and Sebastian Vettel will start fifth and sixth for Ferrari, and Nico Hulkenberg will be the only Force India in the top 10, bringing his head to head qualifying with teammate Sergio Perez to an even nine to nine for the year. The Williams duo of Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa also made the top 10, as well as Toro Rosso driver Carlos Sainz Jr.

Not making the top 10 and the final round of qualifying were Fernando Alonso—though he still out-qualified his McLaren teammate Jenson Button—and Daniil Kvyat, who has been handily out qualified by his first teammate, Daniel Ricciardo, and his current teammate, Sainz.

Further down the grid, the Haas F1 Team could not make lighting strike twice after getting both cars in the top 10 in qualifying at the last Grand Prix in Japan. Esteban Gutierrez starts in 14th and Romain Grosjean in 17th for the American team’s first home Grand Prix.

Rounding out the back of the grid are the usual suspects from Manor, Renault and Sauber. However, for this race, they are joined by McLaren driver Jenson Button who was playing catch-up during the first round of qualifying after setting his lap time on the soft tires rather than the super softs.

While this is where the drivers will roll off the grid, the 133 foot climb to turn one at the start of Sunday’s race could provide plenty of surprises.

Full Qualifying Results:

1. Lewis Hamilton
2. Nico Rosberg
3. Daniel Ricciardo
4. Max Verstappen
5. Kimi Räikkönen
6. Sebastian Vettel
7. Nico Hulkenberg
8. Valtteri Bottas
9. Felipe Massa
10. Carlos Sainz Jr.
11. Sergio Perez
12. Fernando Alonso
13. Daniil Kvyat

14. Esteban Gutierrez

15. Jolyon Palmer

16. Marcus Ericsson
17. Romain Grosjean
18. Kevin Magnussen

19. Jenson Button
20. Pascal Wehrlein
21. Felipe Nasr

22. Esteban Ocon