Lewis Hamilton smashes lap record, takes pole in Austin

Lewis Hamilton ran a 1:34.999 during qualifying on Saturday to take pole for Sunday's race. (Photo: LAT Photographic)

Lewis Hamilton turned a new track record of 1:34.999 during Saturday's Q3 qualifying session at Circuit of The Americas in Austin to take pole for Sunday's United States Grand Prix. He was 0.216 seconds faster than his teammate Nico Rosberg, who qualified second.

This is Hamilton's ninth pole of the season, but first here at CoTA, despite the fact he has taken three wins here.

The Red Bull Racing teammates locked out row 2 with Daniel Ricciardo in front of Max Verstappen. However, Ricciardo turned his best lap during Q2 on the supersoft tires, and so won't be able to go long in the first stint in the race. The Ferrari teammates will start from the third row with Kimi Raikkonen ahead of Sebastian Vettel, while Force India's Nico Hulkenberg qualified seventh.

As for Hulkenberg’s teammate Sergio Perez, he failed to advance into Q3 and will start from 11th on the grid, although he will be able to choose what tires he opts to start on.

There were a lot of long faces at the tail end of the field, as Haas F1 driver Romain Grosjean and McLaren’s Jenson Button were among those knocked out in Q1. Grosjean will line up 17th for his 100th F1 race while Button complained of being bulked by traffic in the last turn.

Unofficial qualifying results:

1. Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes
2. Nico Rosberg – Mercedes
3. Daniel Ricciardo – Red Bull
4. Max Verstappen – Red Bull
5. Kimi Raikkonen – Ferrari
6. Sebastian Vettel – Ferrari
7. Nico Hulkenberg – Force India
8. Valtteri Bottas – Williams
9. Felipe Massa – Williams
10. Carlos Sainz – Toro Rosso
11. Sergio Perez – Force India
12. Fernando Alonso – McLaren
13. Daniil Kvyat – Toro Rosso
14. Esteban Gutierrez – Haas
15. Jolyon Palmer – Renault
16. Marcus Ericsson – Sauber
17. Romain Grosjean – Haas
18. Kevin Magnussen – Renault
19. Jenson Button – McLaren
20. Pascal Wehrlein – Manor
21. Felipe Nasr – Sauber
22. Esteban Ocon – Manor