Valtteri Bottas claims US GP pole as Ferrari struggle to match pace
Valtteri Bottas will be on pole position for the 2019 United States Grand Prix after seeing off the late challenge of Ferrari to hold on to top spot.
The Finn recorded what proved to be the fastest time early in the final session and as the drivers lined up for their flying laps, it proved to be a damp squib as none of them could match their times set earlier in the session.
Bottas, who needs to win the race to keep his championship dreams alive, came home ahead of Sebastian Vettel in second and Max Verstappen in third, while Charles Leclerc came in fourth.
Bottas admitted post-race that the grip lessened significantly on the final laps, making it difficult for Verstappen, Vettel and Leclerc to get close to the time that Bottas had already recorded.
Lewis Hamilton finished fifth and limped out of his flying lap with a whimper, meaning he will be on the third row in Texas for the first time in his career.
The highlight was a close-run thing between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, with the Dutchman launching expletives over team radio as he believed the world champion in waiting had cut him off, but no further action was taken.
To no-one's surprise, both Williams drivers went out in Q1 yet again, but they were also joined by the Alfa Romeo duo of Antonion Giovinazzi and Kimi Raikkonen. Also, as a result of missing a call to the weighbridge on Friday, Sergio Perez will start the race from the pit lane.
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