USA F1 Grand Prix 2019 Qualifying: Saturday's Results, Times, Final Grid

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist IINovember 2, 2019

Valtteri Bottas of Finland driving the (77) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes W10 races before finishing fourth fastest during the third practice session of the F1 Grand Prix of USA at Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas on November 2, 2019. (Photo by Mark RALSTON / AFP) (Photo by MARK RALSTON/AFP via Getty Images)

Valtteri Bottas will start the 2019 USA Formula One Grand Prix from pole position after topping the standings in qualifying on Saturday:

Formula 1 @F1

BREAKING: It's pole for @ValtteriBottas! 👏👏👏 #USGP 🇺🇸 #F1 https://t.co/ZaHR3F54jE

The Mercedes driver posted the fastest time of one minute, 32.029 seconds to take top spot ahead of Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen in the Red Bull.

Championship leader Lewis Hamilton qualified in fifth place behind Ferrari's Charles Leclerc. Gracenote Live showed what Hamilton needs to do to secure his sixth drivers' title in Austin on Sunday:

Gracenote Live @GracenoteLive

Formula 1🏎️ - With Bottas starting from P1 and Hamilton P5: Hamilton will become world champion if Bottas fail to win the race. If Bottas wins, Hamilton needs to finish in the top-8 or finish 9th while claiming the fastest lap. #F1 #GPUSA

Here is a look at the full standings from qualifying:

Formula 1 @F1

QUALIFYING CLASSIFICATION: @ValtteriBottas takes his fifth pole of 2019 💪 #USGP 🇺🇸 #F1 https://t.co/6MnREGXHif

Saturday's Q1 session brought an early surprise with McLaren's Lando Norris topping the standings ahead of championship leader Hamilton:

Formula 1 @F1

P1 in Q1? Take a bow, @LandoNorris 👏 #USGP 🇺🇸 #F1 https://t.co/rZv1DcOIsN

Meanwhile, Williams duo Robert Kubica and George Williams were knocked out along with the two Alfa Romeos of Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi.

Racing Point's Sergio Perez came in 19th but will start from the pit lane after failing to stop and weigh his car in FP2 on Friday.

Red Bull's Alexander Albon put in a superb lap to top the standings early in Q2:

Formula 1 @F1

Brilliant from @alex_albon 💪 He nails a 1:32.898s and goes P1 with just over 7 mins to go in Q2 #USGP 🇺🇸 #F1 https://t.co/4JBKf1Sc4y

However, the Ferraris of Leclerc and Vettel went faster before the end of the session, while Hamilton, Max Verstappen and Toro Rosso's Daniil Kvyat were caught up in an incident:

Chris Medland @ChrisMedlandF1

Setting up the final laps, Hamilton went to pass Kvyat into Turn 19 as Verstappen was trying to do the same to Hamilton, Three wide didn't work, Verstappen cut onto the grass on the inside to avoid contact. Incident has been noted by the FIA #F1 #USGP

The final shootout saw Pierre Gasly and Daniel Ricciardo join the two Red Bulls, both Ferraris and Hamilton and Bottas in the race for top spot.

Bottas took the early initiative with a superb lap that ended up being good enough for his fifth pole of the season and also earned him a new track record:

Formula 1 @F1

First Q3 runs = DONE @ValtteriBottas sets a blistering pace 😵 1:32.029s is a new track record! 🚀 #USGP 🇺🇸 #F1 https://t.co/41yN7z6f5q

There was little to choose between the top teams in a tightly contested final session. 

Journalist Luke Smith showed just how close it was at the top:

Luke Smith @LukeSmithF1

Very, very close after the first Q3 runs! Bottas on pole by just 0.012s from Vettel, with Verstappen a further tenth off. 0.292s covers the top five - fuego! 🔥 #F1 #USGP

Yet the session fizzled out with Verstappen the only driver in the top five to improve his time in Q3, while Hamilton ended up aborting his final lap and settled for fifth.

The result means that Bottas ends a run of six consecutive pole positions from Ferrari on what promises to be a memorable weekend for Mercedes and Hamilton in the United States.