F1 2014 United States Grand Prix qualifying result: Hamilton on front row as Rosberg powers to Austin pole position
PUBLISHED: 21:07 01 November 2014 | UPDATED: 21:10 01 November 2014
Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton will line-up on the front row for the 2014 United States Grand Prix after Mercedes colleague Nico Rosberg powered to pole position in Austin.
The 29-year-old Mercedes AMG Petronas racer from Hertfordshire qualified second fastest at the Circuit of the Americas today (Saturday).
He was beaten to pole position in Texas, USA, by F1 world championship title rival and Silver Arrows team-mate Nico Rosberg.
The German race ace nailed it in Q3, lapping 0.376 seconds faster than Hamilton as Mercedes completed its 10th front-row lockout of the season. Rosberg clocked a time of 1m 36.067s with Hamilton replying with a 1m 36.443s.
Afterwards, world championship leader Hamilton said: “It wasn’t the easiest of qualifying sessions for me today but I’m still starting from second place and we can have a good fight from there tomorrow [Sunday].
“The problem was with the left front brake which was down on temperature and kept locking. Once you lose that confidence and rhythm under braking, it’s very difficult.
“It is a potential issue for the race but I’ll talk to our guys now and we can have a good look at it.
“Hopefully we can try and sand down the disc a little and then tomorrow should be better. The vibration that I had was just a minor flat spot so I’m not worried about that.”
Hamilton added: “Nico did a great job this afternoon and at the end I couldn’t get close to him so I’ll have to try and make it up tomorrow in the race.”
2014 United States Grand Prix qualifying result
Provisional US GP Q3 positions:
1 Nico Rosberg (Mercedes)
2 Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
3 Valtteri Bottas (Williams)
4 Felipe Massa (Williams)
5 Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull)
6 Fernando Alonso (Ferrari)
7 Jenson Button (McLaren) *
8 Kevin Magnussen (McLaren)
9 Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari)
10 Adrian Sutil (Sauber)
* Before five-place grid penalty.
The second row of Sunday’s grid will feature Williams drivers Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa, in third and fourth places respectively. Daniel Ricciardo qualified fifth for Red Bull in the provisional Q3 results, with Fernando Alonso sixth for Ferrari.
Jenson Button was seventh in Q3 for McLaren, but the former world champion will drop down the grid after taking a five-place penalty for a gearbox change.
The Q3 top 10 was completed by Button’s McLaren colleague Kevin Magnussen, Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen and Sauber star Adrian Sutil.
Following Button’s penalty, Magnussen will start seventh on the grid, Raikkonen eighth, Sutil ninth and Lotus racer Pastor Maldonado 10th.
Rosberg’s pole lap was 0.271 seconds faster than the 2013 pole time set by Sebastian Vettel 12 months ago. This further reinforces the positive step that has been made with the 2014 Hybrid Power Units, delivering better performance with a 35 per cent improvement in fuel efficiency over the previous engine format.
After securing his ninth pole position of the season, Rosberg said: “That was really a great team effort today. Starting from pole here in the US is obviously good – but it’s tomorrow that counts, so there is still some way to go.
“Together with my engineers we found a great setup which made me feel very comfortable in the car at the end of qualifying.
“At the beginning of Q1 I had a lot of understeer but we had different opportunities to explore in terms of changing that. We decided to change the front wing flap angle which worked out perfectly, so I was really able to push a lot through the corners.
Circuit of the Americas – the stats you need
* Race distance: 56 laps (308.405km/191.643 miles)
* Start time: 13:00 (local)/19:00 (GMT)
* Circuit length: 5.513km/3.426 miles
* 2013 winner: Sebastian Vettel
* 2013 pole: Sebastian Vettel
* Lap record: Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull RB8) 1m39.347s (199.772km/h)
“Now I look forward to tomorrow as I had some good long runs on Friday which allowed me to focus a bit more on the race with my setup.”
Mercedes-Benz Motorsport chief Toto Wolff said: “That was a great qualifying result, especially after we had some problems with Nico’s car during practice this morning and with Lewis’ car yesterday afternoon.
“Nico put in a perfect lap while Lewis was struggling with relatively large amounts of front locking during the session.”
Over at McLaren, Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen were remarkably evenly-matched throughout all three of this afternoon’s qualifying sessions, finally finishing just 0.051s apart after their final runs in Q3.
"Nico did a great job this afternoon and at the end I couldn’t get close to him so I’ll have to try and make it up tomorrow in the race."
However, Button has been handed a five-place grid penalty for a premature gearbox change and will therefore drop to 12th – between Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg.
Since multiple tyre stops are predicted for tomorrow, there ought to be ample opportunity for strategy to play a role in mixing up the competitive order.
After qualifying, Button said: “That was a lot of effort for 12th on the grid.
“It was so close between Kevin and myself on every run this afternoon. My fastest lap wasn’t amazing – it’s quite difficult to string a lap together around here, because you struggle with the inconsistencies caused by moderate grip, high winds and low ambient temperatures.
“But we can be reasonably happy with where we are, particularly given the balance issues we faced this morning.”
Button added: “It’s frustrating to have qualified on the clean side of the grid, but be forced onto the dirty side by a penalty. That makes things trickier, but this race looks like it’ll probably be at least a two-stopper, maybe even a three-stopper, which opens up more strategy options for us and gives us more of an opportunity to make up positions.”
McLaren colleague Magnussen, who will start seventh owing to Jenson’s grid penalty, said “Qualifying seventh and eighth isn’t particularly satisfying for anyone, but it’s pretty much where we are with our car right now.
“Jenson and I were pretty evenly matched all afternoon, so I think it’s pretty safe to say we got the maximum out of the car.
“I think tomorrow’s race will be a two or even three-stopper for most people, so we should hopefully be able to mix things up a little with our strategy.
“That’s usually a good way to make forward progress, and I think scoring some useful points should certainly be possible.”
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