Austin, TX (SportsNetwork.com) – Nico Rosberg claimed his ninth pole of the
season and the 13th of his Formula One career by topping Mercedes teammate and
championship rival Lewis Hamilton in Saturday’s qualifying for the United
States Grand Prix.
Rosberg, who trails Hamilton by 17 points in the F1 world championship
standings, made a lap around the 3.426-mile, 20-turn Circuit of the Americas
in 1 minute, 36.067 seconds. His lap was 0.376 seconds quicker than Hamilton.
There are three grand prix remaining. After Sunday’s 56-lap USGP, F1 moves on
to Sao Paulo for the Nov. 9 Brazilian Grand Prix. The season will concluded
with the Nov. 23 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, a race where drivers and teams will
score double the amount of points.
Hamilton has won the last four grand prix — Italy, Singapore, Japan and
Russia. He also scored the victory in the first USGP held at COTA in 2012.
The Williams duo of Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa qualified third and
fourth, respectively, while Daniel Ricciardo from Red Bull took the fifth
Ricciardo’s teammate, Sebastian Vettel, the four-time world champion and
winner of last year’s USGP, will start the race from pit lane due to a penalty
he received for using a sixth power unit (engine) this season. According to
the new technical rules this year, drivers are only allowed to use five power
units before incurring a penalty.
Vettel did not make it out of the first round of qualifying (Q1). He finished
17th in the 18-car field. Vettel had won the pole for the first two USGPS at
Fernando Alonso from Ferrari qualified sixth, followed by McLaren drivers
Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen. Button, though, received a five-spot grid
penalty for a gearbox change.
Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen and Adrian Sutil from Sauber completed the top-10.
This race is featuring an 18-car field since Caterham and Marussia are both
missing the event due to their current financial issues.