Sports Desk, Oct 23 (EFE).- The current leader in the Formula 1 driver standings, Max Verstappen (Red Bull), took pole position Saturday in qualifying for the United States Grand Prix 2021, besting defending champion Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) by 0.2 seconds.
The Dutchman’s Red Bull teammate, Sergio “Checo” Perez, will start Sunday’s race from third on the grid at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.
The other Mercedes driver, Valtteri Bottas of Finland, posted the fourth-fastest lap in Q3, but has to drop down to P9 because of a penalty for exceeding his engine allocation, so the Ferrari duo of Monaco’s Charles Leclerc and Spaniard Carlos Sainz move up to fourth and fifth, respectively.
The next two spots belong to the McLaren pair of Australian veteran Daniel Ricciardo and Briton Lando Norris, followed in P8 by Frenchman Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri).
Japan’s Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri) will start from 10th on Sunday.
Hamilton, 35, is in pursuit of what would be a record eighth championship. The Briton trails the 24-year-old Verstappen by 6 points with six races left in the season.
Perez, who got an enthusiastic reception from his Mexican compatriots among the crowd of 120,000 in the stands, was in provisional pole position before the final laps. EFE