In the dying moments, Max Verstappen snatched pole position for the FORMULA 1 ARAMCO UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX 2021, setting up a tantalising tussle into Turn 1 with championship challenger Lewis Hamilton.
Red Bull will have the upper hand in the opening stages, with Sergio Perez qualifying in P3.
“I’m surprised after qualifying today but I’m of course very happy to be on pole. It hasn’t been the easiest of weekends so far for me, I’ve been chasing the balance quite a bit so to pull that lap together in Q3 was of course really satisfying. I’m really pleased with the performance of the whole Team today and I’m glad we could finally pull it together for the final lap. We improved the balance and I felt a lot more comfortable in the car today compared to yesterday. To show this pace in quali is positive for the race tomorrow but I still fully expect it to be tough out there, it’s going to be really warm and very hard on the tyres, which will make it more interesting. We just have to focus on ourselves tomorrow, hope for a good clean start and then be as fast as we possibly can.”
“I’m pleased with today’s result but I can’t be 100% satisfied because we had the pace to be on pole. It’s a bit of a shame but it started raining quite hard on the final lap and I was the last car on track and I lost the time in sector three so we were a little unlucky in that regard. It was tense in that final run, we all knew it was coming down to that last lap and Max did a fantastic job as did Lewis and I think we each finished where we deserved to finish. I am taking a lot of confidence from this weekend because we’ve been really competitive and it just shows how hard we have been working behind the scenes to make this kind of progress and I expect to keep getting better. We are in a good position for tomorrow and it’s going to be a long race where anything can happen. There’s also a lot of support out there from the fans and I really hope I can deliver a fantastic result for them too.”
“It was a great qualifying performance from both our drivers, a first and third, it’s a great place to be starting tomorrow’s race. It’s the first non-Mercedes pole here in the hybrid era and the first time we’ve had two cars against one, so another milestone for us. Lewis put in a great lap at the end there, the wind dropped and the times started to fall, but over the lap we had the quicker car. It was probably Checo’s best qualifying this year in normal conditions, so we are really pleased with that. Checo had provisional pole and Max responded and managed to improve, so phenomenal performances from both our drivers. It’s tough to follow here and you definitely want to lead into turn one, so at least we’ve got two guys starting at the front of the field. It’s going to be an interesting first corner tomorrow.”