Charles Leclerc put Ferrari on pole position for the inaugural Las Vegas Grand Prix on Saturday with Red Bull’s triple Formula One world champion Max Verstappen stepping up to join him on the front row.
Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz was second fastest in qualifying, with Verstappen third, but the Spaniard has a 10 place grid penalty after repairs to his car following damage from a practice incident.
Leclerc was fastest in all three qualifying phases down the floodlit Strip, with its neon backdrop of landmark hotels and casinos, for his third pole in the last four races.
The Monaco driver was still disappointed with his laps, and a pole time of one minute 32.726 seconds only half a tenth faster than Sainz.
“I didn’t do a good enough job but it was enough for P1 so that’s all we need and now full focus on tomorrow to try to put everything together in the race,” he said.
“Normally that’s where we lack the most performance so I hope we can put it all together and win here.”
George Russell will move up to third for Mercedes with Pierre Gasly fourth on the grid for Alpine in the first race in Sin City since the 1980s.
The Williams pair of Alex Albon and U.S. rookie Logan Sargeant qualified an impressive, and surprising, fifth and sixth. (Writing by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Kirsten Donovan)