The Formula One championship isn’t over just yet. Valtteri Bottas scored his 11th career F1 pole and first in COTA with a quick lap in Q3 of 1:32.029-seconds in his No. 77 Mercedes. It was a surprise as the Finnish driver was just 17th, fifth and fourth respectively in practice this weekend.
Also, Bottas has three fifth place finishes in six career COTA starts, as those are his only top fives. But, his pace this season has helped. Bottas, has three straight podiums and five in his last six starts on the year heading into this weekend.
It was the first pole for Mercedes since Germany as Ferrari had won every pole since the summer break ended.
He will be joined on the front row by Sebastian Vettel who narrowly missed Bottas for the pole position. Vettel, has four straight top four finishes on the Texas road course and two straight runner-ups on the season. He also has three top two finishes in his last four starts on the year.
Max Verstappen makes it three different teams for the top three starting spots as he rolls off third in his No. 33 Aston Martin Red Bull Racing Honda. Verstappen, was second in this race last year and has three top four finishes in his four COTA starts. But, the RBR driver also has just one podium in his last six starts on the season.
Charles Leclerc will roll off fourth while Lewis Hamilton, the driver who’s had four wins in the last five COTA races, starts fifth.
United States Grand Prix Starting Lineup
Row 1: Valtteri Bottas, Sebastian Vettel
Row 2: Max Verstappen, Charles LeClerc
Row 3: Lewis Hamilton, Alex Albon R
Row 4: Carlos Sainz Jr., Lando Norris R
Row 5: Daniel Ricciardo, Pierre Gasly
Row 6: Nico Hulkenberg, Kevin Magnussen
Row 7: Daniil Kvyat, Lando Norris
Row 8: Romain Grosjean, Antonio Giovinazzi R
Row 9: Kimi Raikkonen, George Russell R
Row 10: Sergio Perez, Robert Kubica