Carlos Sainz snatched pole position at the US Grand Prix in a massive result for Ferrari. Charles Leclerc also set the second-quickest time but he will drop down the grid after taking a 10-place penalty for a new engine.
Pole-sitter Sainz said: “It was fun, a lot of fun. It was very tricky out there with the winds today, gusts at every corner and you don’t know how much grip you are going to get or expect but I managed to put together a good lap without mistakes and pole position was a long time coming after a few Qualis of getting close but not quite getting there.
“I think for tomorrow red Bull are still favourites, they normally have the race pace and they normally get us in the race because Max does a very good job.
“But we are going to do everything we can tomorrow to stay ahead and win the race which would be an amazing way to start these last four races.”
And Leclerc added: “It is difficult with the wind obviously from lap to lap but overall I did my best. The last lap wasn’t the best and Carlos did a better job today and deserves to be on pole.
“I will be starting a bit further back because for the penalty but the plan is to come back to the front as quickly as possible.”
Max Verstappen, who was third fastest, will be bumped up the grid to join Sainz on the front row. Both Red Bulls beat Mercedes with Sergio Perez fourth, but he will also incur a five-place grid penalty.
Lewis Hamilton finished fifth, just ahead of George Russell. Lance Stroll, Fernando Alonso, Lando Norris and Valtteri Bottas completed the top 10.
Williams star Alex Albon came close to making it into Q1 but narrowly missed out, finishing 11th. Sebastian Vettel and Pierre Gasly also failed to make the final 10.
Esteban Ocon had the most disappointing session of all as he headlined those crashing out in Q1. The Frenchman, who sits eighth in the Drivers’ Championship, was only able to beat Mick Schumacher and Nicholas Latifi.
McLaren star Daniel Ricciardo also struggled, qualifying in 17th.
“Definitely a big disappointment,” McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl said: “I think it was difficult for Daniel to get the lap together because he was struggling with the rear which is a shame because he was showing some good pace this weekend.”
Qualifying results in full