F1 2021
Round 17

It's POLE For Max and Honda Power In America

us Circuit Of The Americas

Max secured a sensational pole position with the very final lap of qualifying at the United States Grand Prix as Red Bull excelled in a thrilling session.

It's POLE For Max and Honda Power In America

On another hot day in Texas - with the air temperature above 30C at the start of Q1 - all four cars made it safely through the first part of the session without alarm. It was an encouraging start, with Max second quickest and Sergio third, while Pierre was seventh and Yuki 11th overall.

Both Red Bull Racing drivers were running the medium compound tyre at the start of Q2 while Scuderia AlphaTauri split its approach, with Pierre on the mediums and Yuki on the softs.

For the second race in succession, all four Honda-powered cars will start from the top ten on Sunday, after Max comfortably topped the second part of qualifying ahead of Sergio in seventh, Pierre in eighth and Yuki in tenth place. The result means only Yuki will start on softs, with the other three drivers on mediums.

It was soft tyres all round for the Q3 shootout, with the Red Bull pair provisionally locking-out the front row as Sergio set the pace on the first runs from Max. But with light rain starting to fall in a dramatic end to the session, Max delivered a stunning lap to be the only driver under the 1m33s mark to take the 12th pole position of his career.

Toyoharu Tanabe
Toyoharu Tanabe
Honda Racing F1
Once again today, air and track temperatures were much higher than usual. For the second consecutive race, we had all four cars getting through to Q3. Max put in a great lap to take pole and Checo was very close and will start from third tomorrow, with Pierre and Yuki starting from eighth and tenth, as Bottas will split them because of his penalty.

Last night, we worked with both our teams to optimise the PU and chassis settings and from FP3 this morning we were able to confirm that the changes we made were working in the right direction. We then made a few more changes and having improved the cars through all the sessions, that produced the good results we saw in qualifying and we know we have competitive cars for tomorrow.

It is going to be a very tough race for everyone and once again, we will have to consider the high temperatures when it comes to settings and strategy. A good start will be the first step and then we can hope for a strong result with all four cars.

Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen 33
Red Bull Racing
I’m surprised after qualifying today but I’m of course very happy to be on pole. It hasn’t been the easiest of weekends so far for me, I’ve been chasing the balance quite a bit so to pull that lap together in Q3 was of course really satisfying. I’m really pleased with the performance of the whole Team today and I’m glad we could finally pull it together for the final lap. We improved the balance and I felt a lot more comfortable in the car today compared to yesterday. To show this pace in quali is positive for the race tomorrow but I still fully expect it to be tough out there, it’s going to be really warm and very hard on the tyres, which will make it more interesting. We just have to focus on ourselves tomorrow, hope for a good clean start and then be as fast as we possibly can.

Sergio Perez
Sergio Perez 11
Red Bull Racing
I’m pleased with today’s result but I can’t be 100% satisfied because we had the pace to be on pole. It’s a bit of a shame but it started raining quite hard on the final lap and I was the last car on track and I lost the time in sector three so we were a little unlucky in that regard. It was tense in that final run, we all knew it was coming down to that last lap and Max did a fantastic job as did Lewis and I think we each finished where we deserved to finish. I am taking a lot of confidence from this weekend because we’ve been really competitive and it just shows how hard we have been working behind the scenes to make this kind of progress and I expect to keep getting better. We are in a good position for tomorrow and it’s going to be a long race where anything can happen. There’s also a lot of support out there from the fans and I really hope I can deliver a fantastic result for them too.

Pierre Gasly
Pierre Gasly 10
Scuderia AlphaTauri
I think we can be pleased today, we’ve got the four top teams ahead of us, so we’re starting in a good position. Friday was slightly harder than we were expecting but we’ve made some good improvements for today, and with Valtteri’s penalty we’ll be in P8. It’s good that we managed to qualify with the Mediums, to give ourselves the best option tomorrow, but I think it’s going to be very tight here with the tyres, as this track is so tough on them. We’ve got lots of strategy choices available for us, so we’ll need to look at all the possibilities tonight and choose the best option for tomorrow.

Yuki Tsunoda
Yuki Tsunoda 22
Scuderia AlphaTauri
I’m quite happy with today, especially with the step up we’ve taken from FP3. I thought with the pace that we had during the earlier session it was even going to be hard for us to get through Q2, so overall it’s been a good day. It’s my first time in Austin, so I just needed to make progress this weekend and build-up the pace. I’ve still got to find some time to my team-mate and there are some improvements I can still make, but it’s good to be starting in the top 10. The team have made lots of changes to the car across the weekend, which have helped a lot, so I want to say a big thank you to all the engineers and mechanics.

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