Charles Leclerc will start Sunday’s United States Grand Prix, which starts at 14.00 local (21 CEST) at the Circuit of the Americas, from pole position. It is the Monegasque’s 21st pole and the 247th for Ferrari, while team-mate Carlos Sainz secured a slot on the second row, in fourth, less than a tenth off the front row.
As is now the norm for Sprint weekends, the Ferrari team made the most of the preparation work carried out back in Maranello, so that the drivers were pleased with the car balance right from free practice. Charles and Carlos easily made it through to the final phase, each with two sets of new Soft tyres available. On his first run, Leclerc took provisional pole in 1’34”829 before securing it definitively on his second run with a 1’34”723. Carlos also fought it out to the nearest thousandths of a second and set the fourth fastest time, 92 thousandths off the front row.
Standalone Saturday. Tomorrow is entirely given over to the 100 kilometre race, with the Shootout to set the grid getting underway at 12.30 local (19.30 CEST) and the 19 lap Sprint starting at 17.00 (24 CEST). Tomorrow’s race should generate important information relating to race pace, which was not possible today with the limited amount of track time available.
Charles Leclerc – Pole
‘On Sprint weekends, it’s important to get it right, starting from FP1. We did a great job as a team to prepare the car and so it felt good to drive from the very start as well as during all the phases of qualifying. My lap in Q3 was good and I’m very happy, as I love racing on this track and the atmosphere in this city is amazing. Tomorrow, we start from scratch again, with the whole day given over to the Sprint, but for now we can enjoy this pole position for Sunday.’
Lando Norris – P2
“I’m very happy with P2, the pace in the car has been great and I put in a good lap to get on the front row on Sunday. There was maybe a little more in it, but I’m sure Charles [Leclerc] will be thinking that too, so overall I’m pleased with qualifying. We’ve got another chance to score a good result and important points tomorrow, so we’ll turn our focus to that now and aim to go one better in the Sprint.”
Lewis Hamilton – P3
‘I have to say a big thank you to everyone back at the factory. They have been pushing so hard to improve our car and we have taken a step closer to the front this weekend. I know everyone is working flat out for that and I appreciate all the efforts. Unfortunately today, we weren’t quite at the very front, but we will give it another shot tomorrow.
‘I love being in the United States! It’s such a beautiful country and this circuit is just incredible. It is definitely one of my favourites. It has a legendary layout, it’s bumpy, and all the drivers find it very tricky. Each section is an incredible challenge. I hope tomorrow we can fight for P1 again. I’ll be giving it my best shot and with this crowd, I think anything is possible.’
Carlos Sainz – P4
It wasn’t a bad qualifying. I was struggling a bit in the final sector, so tomorrow I’ll try to improve there. The rest of the lap felt more or less okay and it seems we are in decent shape. Congratulations to Charles for grabbing pole for the team. We’ll try to score some good points over the whole weekend.
Frédéric Vasseur, Ferrari Team Principal
‘Today’s pole position is a great result, down to hard work from the whole team. There is still a long way to go this weekend, with plenty of potential pitfalls along the way. The hard part will be Sunday but today’s result means both our drivers are well placed to get a good result in the Grand Prix. I am very happy for Charles, as this pole is well deserved and is a great start to his weekend. Now we want to do equally well in tomorrow’s Sprint.
‘So far, our performance has matched our expectations, we are competitive over the whole lap, although it is too early to have a clear picture about the race. Already today we have seen that the fight is going down to the thousandths of a second, so it will be vital to carry on working like this, preparing the execution of every part of the weekend right down to the smallest detail.’