ROSBERG EDGES OUT HAMILTON, MERCEDES LOCKS OUT FRONT ROW FOR SIXTH STRAIGHT TIME
AUSTIN, TX (Nov. 1, 2014) – Lewis Hamilton may have been the king in practice this weekend, but teammate Nico Rosberg managed to edge out his Mercedes AMG Petronas teammate to qualify on pole heading into tomorrow’s 2014 United States Grand Prix, being held at Circuit of the Americas.
Rosberg qualified on pole with the fastest time of the weekend so far – 1:36.067. The best Hamilton could record in qualifying was a 1:36.443. This represents the sixth time in a row that the two Mercedes have locked out the front row.
The second row for Sunday’s race belongs to Williams, as Valteri Bottas and Felipe Massa qualified third and fourth with times of 1:36.906 and 1:37.205.
The third row will be shared by Red Bull and Ferrari. Daniel Ricciardo finished fifth with a time of 1:37.244 and Fernando Alonzo came in sixth with a time of 1:37.610. McLaren drivers Jensen Button and Kevin Magnussen would have shared the fourth row, but a penalty assessed to Button for changing a gear box drops him down to 12th. The final three slots in the top 10 go to Ferarri’s Kimi Raikkonnen, Sauber’s Adrian Sutil and Lotus driver Pastor Maldonado
The two Sahara Force India drivers, Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg, finished in 11th and 13th place, with Button slotted in 12th and Jean-Eric Vergne in 14th.
Hamilton leads Rosberg by just 17 points in the driver’s standings, 291 to 274 points, with three races to go.
Speaking of penalties, the FIA penalty bug bit several drivers this weekend, causing adverse results – most notably affected was last year’s USGP winner, Sebastian Vettel, who will start from pit lane as a result of replacing his car’s entire powertrain for the sixth time this year. Also, Daniil Kvyat was dropped 10 places on the grid after his Toro Rosso engineers were forced to fit the Russian’s car with a seventh engine.
Rounding out the grid for this year’s USGP in positions 15 through 18 will be Toro Rosso’s Jean-Eric Vergne, Sauber’s Esteban Gutierrez, Lotus driver Romain Grosjean and Vetel