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Max Verstappen tops all three segments in Sprint Shootout to edge ahead of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton; watch the United States GP Sprint live on Sky Sports F1 and Main Event at 11pm on Saturday, with build-up from 10:15pm

Last Updated: 21/10/23 7:55pm

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Max Verstappen goes off track after a spin at Turn 9 during SQ2 of the United States Grand Prix

Max Verstappen goes off track after a spin at Turn 9 during SQ2 of the United States Grand Prix

Max Verstappen hit back from an error in Friday qualifying and then a spin during the Sprint Shootout to narrowly pip Charles Leclerc and Lewis Hamilton to pole for Saturday night’s Sprint race amid what is proving an incredibly-competitive United States GP weekend.

Verstappen will head the grid for the 19-lap dash – which is live at 11pm on Sky Sports F1 – after topping all three segments of the Sprint Shootout from Ferrari’s Leclerc, who has already claimed pole for Sunday’s Grand Prix.

The world champion was fortunate to avoid doing damage to his car with a Turn Nine spin during the second knockout phase, SQ2, but quickly got back into his timesheet-leading groove and clocked a 1:34.538 to set the pace in SQ3.

But in what bodes well for the Sprint, and indeed the main event of the Grand Prix weekend on Sunday when Verstappen will start only sixth, three teams are right on the Dutchman’s tail.

Second-placed Leclerc and third-placed Hamilton both finished within a tenth of a second of the Red Bull’s pace in the Sprint Shootout, while McLaren’s Lando Norris was only slightly slower in fourth place

“To be this close in Austin just shows we are progressing as a team and we can take that as a real positive,” said Hamilton, who had earlier experienced a near-miss behind a slow-moving Yuki Tsunoda in SQ1.

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Lewis Hamilton asks the team to check his front wing after nearly colliding twice with Yuki Tsunoda near the end of SQ1

Lewis Hamilton asks the team to check his front wing after nearly colliding twice with Yuki Tsunoda near the end of SQ1

“We are in a good position to apply some pressure on the leaders.”

Oscar Piastri will start fifth in the second McLaren, with Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz sixth.

After qualifying only ninth on Friday, for the Grand Prix, there was still no pace breakthrough for Sergio Perez in the second Red Bull who trailed team-mate Verstappen by half a second. The Mexican will start the Sprint from seventh, with his SQ3 compromised by not running new tyres.

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It’s a narrow top three finish as Max Verstappen takes Sprint pole, with Charles Leclerc in second and Lewis Hamilton in third at the United States Grand Prix.

It’s a narrow top three finish as Max Verstappen takes Sprint pole, with Charles Leclerc in second and Lewis Hamilton in third at the United States Grand Prix.

The Mercedes drivers have been rather closer to each other for most of this season, but George Russell has hitherto not been able to extract the best from the upgraded W14 around the Circuit of the Americas and was only eighth on the grid here ahead of Williams’ Alex Albon and Alpine’s Pierre Gasly.

The Sprint is a standalone event to Sunday’s Grand Prix and offers points for the top eight finishers.

More to follow…

United States GP Sprint Shootout Result
1) Max Verstappen, Red Bull
2) Charles Leclerc, Ferrari
3) Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes
4) Lando Norris, McLaren
5) Oscar Piastri, McLaren
6) Carlos Sainz, Ferrari
7) Sergio Perez, Red Bull
8) George Russell, Mercedes
9) Alex Albon, Williams
10) Pierre Gasly, Alpine

More to follow…

When to watch the US GP and F1 Academy finale live only on Sky Sports F1

Saturday October 21

9.15pm: F1 Academy Race Two
10pm: US GP Sprint build-up
11pm: US GP SPRINT (also on Sky Sports Main Event)
(Sunday) 12.30am: Ted’s Sprint Notebook

Sunday October 22

3.30pm: F1 Academy Race Three
6.30pm: Grand Prix Sunday: US GP build-up
8pm: THE UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX (also on Sky Sports Main Event)
10pm: Chequered Flag: US GP reaction
11pm: Ted’s Notebook

Watch Formula 1 return to Texas for the United States Grand Prix and another Sprint weekend live on Sky Sports F1 from October 20-22. Stream F1 on Sky Sports with NOW

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The post United States GP Sprint Shootout: Max Verstappen spins but secures pole just ahead of Charles Leclerc, Lewis Hamilton appeared first on WorldNewsEra.

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