Ferrari’s Leclerc clinches pole position in Las Vegas GP qualifying


Charles Leclerc secured his first pole position of the season and the 22nd of his career in a thrilling qualifying session for the Las Vegas Grand Prix. The Monegasque driver edged out his Ferrari teammate Carlos Sainz by 0.108 seconds to claim the top spot on the grid for Sunday’s race. Leclerc set a lap time of 1:29.678 on his final run in Q3, beating his provisional pole by 0.326 seconds. Sainz improved on his last attempt as well, but could not match Leclerc’s pace.

Leclerc was delighted with his performance, saying: “It feels amazing. It’s been a while since we’ve been on pole. We’ve been working very hard as a team to improve the car and today it paid off. I’m very happy for the whole team and for myself. It was a very good lap, I put everything together and I’m very proud of it.”

Sainz was also pleased with his result, despite missing out on the pole by a small margin. He said: “It’s a great day for Ferrari. We’ve been strong all weekend and we confirmed it today with a one-two. I’m very happy for Charles, he did an amazing lap. I was very close to him, but not enough. I think we can be very proud of what we achieved today and hopefully, we can have a good race tomorrow.”


Verstappen loses pole for track limits violation

Max Verstappen was denied his 11th pole position of the season after his fastest lap in Q3 was deleted for exceeding track limits at Turn 18. The Red Bull driver had crossed the line with a time of 1:29.674, just 0.004 seconds faster than Leclerc, but his lap was immediately invalidated by the stewards. Verstappen had to settle for sixth place on the grid, behind Lewis Hamilton, Lando Norris, and George Russell.

Verstappen was frustrated with his mistake, saying: “It’s very disappointing. I had a good lap, but I just went a bit too wide in the last corner and lost the pole. It’s a shame because we had a good car and we were very competitive. It’s not ideal to start from sixth, but we’ll try to make the best of it and fight our way back to the front.”

Hamilton, who trails Verstappen by 19 points in the championship standings, was unable to challenge for the pole and qualified in fourth place, 0.139 seconds behind Leclerc. The Mercedes driver said: “It was a tough session. We struggled with the balance of the car and we couldn’t find the grip we needed. Ferrari was just too quick today, they did a great job. We have to accept it and focus on the race. It’s a long and challenging circuit, so anything can happen.”

Norris continued his impressive form and qualified in third place, his best result since the Russian Grand Prix. The McLaren driver said: “It was a good session. I felt confident in the car and I managed to put a good lap together. It’s nice to be back in the top three and to split the Mercedes. It’s going to be a hard race, but we’ll try to stay there and fight for the podium.”

Russell, who will replace Valtteri Bottas at Mercedes next season, outqualified his future teammate and secured fifth place on the grid. The Williams driver said: “It was a great session. I was very happy with my lap and the car felt good. It’s a bit of a surprise to be in fifth, but I’ll take it. It’s a nice way to end the season with Williams and I’m looking forward to the race.”

Ricciardo crashes out in Q1, Alonso misses out on Q3

Daniel Ricciardo’s qualifying session ended prematurely after he crashed his McLaren at Turn 9 in Q1. The Australian driver lost control of his car and hit the barriers, damaging his front wing and suspension. He was unable to continue and was eliminated in 18th place. Ricciardo said: “It was a mistake. I just locked up the front tires and went straight into the wall. It’s a shame because I felt good in the car and I think we had the potential to be in Q3. I’m sorry for the team and I hope we can fix the car for the race.”

Fernando Alonso was another driver who failed to make it to Q3, despite being in the top 10 in all three practice sessions. The Alpine driver missed out on the final segment by 0.016 seconds and qualified in 11th place. Alonso said: “It was a very tight session. We were very close to Q3, but we missed it by a very small margin. It’s a pity because we had a good pace and we could have been higher up. We’ll try to recover some positions tomorrow and score some points.”

The Las Vegas Grand Prix will be the 20th and final round of the 2023 Formula 1 season. The race will start at noon local time (20:00 GMT) on Sunday.

By Kane Wilson

Kane Wilson, founder of this news website, is a seasoned news editor renowned for his analytical skills and meticulous approach to storytelling. His journey in journalism began as a local reporter, and he quickly climbed the ranks due to his talent for unearthing compelling stories. Kane completed his Master’s degree in Media Studies from Northwestern University and spent several years in broadcast journalism prior to co-founding this platform. His dedication to delivering unbiased news and ability to present complex issues in an easily digestible format make him an influential voice in the industry.

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