Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc will start from pole position in Saturday’s Las Vegas Grand Prix after posting the fastest time in Friday qualifying.
Leclerc finished ahead of team-mate Carlos Sainz but with the Spaniard having a ten-place grid penalty imposed after Thursday’s practice, world champion Max Verstappen of Red Bull will start second.
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There was little to choose between the two Ferrari drivers with Leclerc, who topped all three segments, posting a fastest lap of 1:32.726 and Sainz just 0.044 off the pace.
Three-time world champion Verstappen pulled out of his final lap but will back himself to once again overcome Leclerc on race-day.
“It was enjoyable out there. I think we maximised today. I think the whole weekend so far we have been lacking a bit of one lap performance and that was quite clear,” said the Dutchman.
“I hope tomorrow in the race we are good on the tyres again and can work our way forward,” he added.
Leclerc had mixed feelings after he ran in the final qualifying segment.
“To be starting from the pole is great. However, I’m a bit disappointed about my laps in Q3. I didn’t do a good enough job but it was enough for P1 and that’s all we need,” he 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,” he said.
After the embarrassing start to the new Vegas event, when Thursday’s opening practice was abandoned after nine minutes due to loose drain covers on the track, fans finally got to see some action on the new street track.