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Charles Leclerc from Ferrari secured the top starting position for the US Grand Prix, with Max Verstappen’s lap being disqualified.

Charles Leclerc of Ferrari secured the top starting position for the United States Grand Prix, as Max Verstappen’s lap was disqualified for going beyond the designated track boundaries.

Verstappen looked to have qualified first in his Red Bull at a sizzling Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, only to see his lap – five-thousandths of a second quicker than Leclerc – chalked off by the stewards. Verstappen dropped from first to sixth, with Lando Norris taking second for McLaren ahead of Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton. Leclerc’s team-mate Carlos Sainz finished fourth with George Russell fifth for Mercedes.

Verstappen, who wrapped up his third world title in Qatar a fortnight ago, is bidding to join Hamilton, Michael Schumacher, Alain Prost and Sebastian Vettel by reaching 50 victories. But the Dutchman’s quest will start from back down the grid after he put all four wheels off the track at Turn 18 following a rare mistake.

Before the last runs, Verstappen was behind by a quarter of a second. He was angry at his team for sending him out on the track too close to Sergio Pérez’s Red Bull. He expressed his frustration over the radio, saying “Great job there! What was that in the last corner?!”

After making a mistake, Leclerc was able to secure his 21st career pole position, with a lead of 0.130 seconds over Norris, who was just nine-thousandths of a second ahead of Hamilton. Ricciardo has returned to racing after missing five events due to a hand injury sustained during practice for the Dutch Grand Prix on August 25th.

At the age of 34, the Australian advanced to Q2 and qualified in 15th place, one second slower than the leader and four places behind Yuki Tsunoda in the AlphaTauri team.

Aston Martin has implemented several improvements from overseas, but unfortunately, both of their drivers were disqualified early on.

Fernando Alonso finished in 17th place and his teammate Lance Stroll, who has been struggling recently, finished two spots behind. Additionally, American driver Logan Sargeant will start from the back of the grid for his home race as his seat with Williams for next season is still uncertain.

Source: theguardian.com