Sainz takes pole for US Grand Prix

Sports Desk, Oct 22 (EFE).- Spain’s Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) grabbed pole position Saturday in qualifying for the Formula 1 Grand Prix of the United States at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.

Sainz posted a fastest lap of 1:34.356, ahead of teammate Charles Leclerc and two-time champion Max Verstappen (Red Bull).

A grid penalty sees the Ferrari driver from Monaco drop down to P12, so the Dutchman, who clinched his second title earlier this month at the Japanese Grand Prix, will start alongside Sainz on the front row.

The other half of the Red Bull duo, Mexico’s Sergio “Checo” Perez, finished fourth in Q3, but he is under a five-place grid penalty, meaning that the second row belongs to the all-British Mercedes team of seven-time F1 champion Lewis Hamilton and George Russell.

Rounding out the top 10 were Canada’s Lance Stroll (Aston Martin), Briton Lando Norris (McLaren), Spaniard Fernando Alonso (Alpine) and Finland’s Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo).

With grid penalties, however, Alonso falls out of the top 10 for Sunday’s start and spots P5 through P10 will be filled by Stroll, Norris, Bottas, Thailand’s Alex Albon (Williams), Perez and German two-time champion Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin).

While Verstappen has already secured the championship, the battle for second place continues among Perez (253 points), Leclerc (252), Russell (207) and Sainz (202).

And the Red Bull team, saddened Saturday by the death of Red Bull energy drinks co-founder Dietrich Mateschitz, is hoping to claim their first constructor’s championship since 2013.

Red Bull lead the standings with 619 points, followed by Ferrari (454) and Mercedes (387). EFE caf/dr

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