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Charles Leclerc led Carlos Sainz in a Ferrari one-two at the Las Vegas Grand Prix; world champion Max Verstappen third but will start on front row as Sainz faces grid penalty; watch the Las Vegas GP live on Sky Sports F1 at 6am on Sunday, with build-up from 4.30am
Last Updated: 18/11/23 10:49am
Round up of all the action from Las Vegas qualifying as Charles Leclerc takes pole position
Charles Leclerc took pole position on Formula 1’s return to Las Vegas by leading a dominant Ferrari one-two from Carlos Sainz in qualifying.
After a chaotic start to F1’s return to Vegas saw major disruption on Thursday, a smooth Friday on the spectacular circuit that has brought the sport to the city’s stunning Strip for the first time ended with Leclerc edging out Sainz by 0.044s.
World champion Max Verstappen was third for Red Bull, but will start alongside Leclerc on the front row with Sainz being controversially demoted by a 10-place grid penalty incurred for exceeding his allowance of car parts after an incident caused by a faulty water valve cover during first practice.
While Ferrari showed stunning pace throughout the session to dominate, the contest for the places behind them was hugely unpredictable.
Both McLaren’s are out and Max Verstappen and Esteban Ocon come close to a tangle in a chaotic Q1
George Russell was fourth for Mercedes but his team-mate Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull’s Sergio Perez were knocked out in Q2 after McLaren duo Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri had exited in Q1.
Those surprise eliminations opened opportunities for others as Alpine’s Pierre Gasly took fifth ahead of Williams duo Alex Albon and Logan Sargeant, with the American’s seventh place the best qualifying result of his rookie F1 campaign.
Valtteri Bottas claimed eighth for Alfa Romeo ahead of Haas’ Kevin Magnussen, while Fernando Alonso rounded out the top 10 for Aston Martin.
Improvements from both the Williams drivers and Gasly on their respective final laps see Hamilton and Perez knocked out in Q2
Las Vegas GP Qualifying result: Top 10
1) Charles Leclerc, Ferrari
2) Carlos Sainz, Ferrari*
3) Max Verstappen, Red Bull
4) George Russell, Mercedes
5) Pierre Gasly, Alpine
6) Alex Albon, Williams
7) Logan Sargeant, Williams
8) Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo
9) Kevin Magnussen, Haas
10) Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin
*Sainz will be demoted by 10-place grid penalty
Undeniable Ferrari speed finally shows
Ferrari had shown impressive pace throughout practice but extenuating circumstances meant that qualifying began with a lack of clarity on just how strong the Italian team’s one-lap performance was.
A bizarre first day of track action saw first practice cancelled after just eight minutes – and an extended second practice significantly delayed – to allow for repairs to the surface.
Leclerc is on pole after a brilliant performance in Las Vegas, team-mate Carlos Sainz is second in Q3 but will drop down to 12th on the grid due to his penalty
Leclerc topped the second session but both Ferraris were unable to complete flying laps on soft tyres in final practice as the session was brought to a premature end by a red flag.
Any doubt over their pace was dispelled as soon as qualifying began, with only Sainz able to get anywhere near his team-mate.
Leclerc topped all three parts of the session, with a 1:32.726 sealing pole as the track continued to improve right up until the final seconds.
The Monegasque’s focus now turns to ending a streak of 11 races in which he has failed to convert pole position to victory.
Max Verstappen has called for a rule change after Carlos Sainz was given a 10-place grid penalty for damage from a manhole cover
The driver most likely to deny him will be Verstappen, with the Dutchman seeking a record-extending 18th win of his historically dominant campaign.
Ferrari’s significant qualifying advantage provides Leclerc with hope that the result could be different to those on the four previous occasions he has claimed pole this season.
“I’m happy. To take the first pole in Las Vegas, it’s an incredible event,” Leclerc said.
“Now it’s full focus to try and put everything together for the race. Normally, that’s where we lack most performance so I hope we can put it all together and win here.”
Hamilton, McLarens among surprise early exits
The all-new circuit was always likely to throw up some surprises, particularly after the interruptions to the practice schedule.
McLaren had arrived at several circuits in recent weeks with doubts over their potential, but were finally proven right on this occasion.
Lewis Hamilton shares his disappointment after being knocked out of Q2 in Las Vegas
Even Norris, who has finished on the podium in five of the last six races, was unable to find the performance to advance from Q1 as he finished 16th, with rookie team-mate Piastri faring even worse in P19.
The shocks didn’t end there as Hamilton, who has also been enjoying a strong run of form, was caught out at the end of Q2.
The Brit started his final push lap significantly earlier than others fighting to advance, and paid the price as he was pushed down the order in the final seconds.
Following being knocked out in Q2 at the Las Vegas GP, Sergio Perez says that the track ‘caught out’ Red Bull
While Hamilton said over radio that he simply didn’t have the speed, Red Bull were left slightly red-faced as Perez sat in the pits while the other 14 cars were out on track at the end of the session, with the Mexican later admitting his team had been “caught out”.
Behind them, Lance Stroll was also eliminated from Q2 in 14th, but is set to start from 19th after receiving a five-place grid penalty for overtaking under double waved yellow flags in final practice.
Las Vegas GP Qualifying timesheet
|1. Charles Leclerc||Ferrari||1:32.726|
|2. Carlos Sainz||Ferrari||+0.044|
|3. Max Verstappen||Red Bull||+0.378|
|4. George Russell||Mercedes||+0.386|
|5. Pierre Gasly||Alpine||+0.513|
|6. Alex Albon||Williams||+0.597|
|7. Logan Sargeant||Williams||+0.787|
|8. Valtteri Bottas||Alfa Romeo||+0.799|
|9. Kevin Magnussen||Haas||+0.811|
|10. Fernando Alonso||Aston Martin||+0.829|
|Out in Q2|
|11. Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes||1:33.837|
|12. Sergio Perez||Red Bull||1:33.855|
|13. Nico Hulkenberg||Haas||1:33.979|
|14. Lance Stroll||Aston Martin||1:34.199|
|15. Daniel Ricciardo||AlphaTauri||1:34.308|
|Out in Q1|
|16. Lando Norris||McLaren||1:34.703|
|17. Esteban Ocon||Alpine||1:34.834|
|18. Zhou Guanyu||Alfa Romeo||1:34.849|
|19. Oscar Piastri||McLaren||1:34.850|
|20. Yuki Tsunoda||AlphaTauri||1:36.447|
When to watch the Las Vegas GP live on Sky Sports
Sunday November 19
- 4:30am: Grand Prix Sunday: Las Vegas GP build-up (also on Sky Showcase)
- 6am: THE LAS VEGAS GRAND PRIX (also on Sky Showcase)
- 8am: Chequered Flag: Las Vegas GP reaction (also on Sky Showcase)
- 9am: Ted’s Notebook (also on Sky Showcase)
Get ready for the big one: Formula 1 in Las Vegas! See drivers race down the Strip, and past landmarks like Caesars Palace and the Bellagio, on F1’s newest street track. Watch the Las Vegas GP weekend live on Sky Sports F1 and Sky Showcase, with lights out on Sunday at 6am. Stream F1 on Sky Sports with NOW
We update regularly World Latest Breaking News here. We update 2023-11-18 14:50:00 this news story from official website – https://www.skysports.com/f1/news/12433/13010745/las-vegas-gp-qualifying-charles-leclerc-takes-pole-position-as-ferrari-seal-dominant-one-two.”
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