Las Vegas GP Qualifying: Charles Leclerc & Williams win big, McLaren falter
Charles Leclerc secured yet another Formula 1 pole position as Williams secured the third row at the Las Vegas GP.
The Las Vegas GP Qualifying delivered a few shocks to the Formula 1 status quo. The McLaren hype train came to a halt as both cars went out in Q1. Meanwhile, Ferrari converted its promising Practice pace into a 1-2 on the timing sheets, with Charles Leclerc ahead of Carlos Sainz. Max Verstappen remains on the front row. Mercedes and Red Bull fumbled one car each in Q2, and Williams secured a 5-6 start for the Grand Prix. Let’s unpack everything.
Q1 of the Las Vegas GP Qualifying resembled a drying Formula 1 qualifying session. The track was very green at the start of the session. As more and more rubber went down, the lap times got quicker and quicker. Therefore, every driver had to stay out to make the best of the conditions.
McLaren failed to do that at the Las Vegas GP. Oscar Piastri was on old soft tyres while Lando Norris wasn’t even on the track. Meanwhile, Esteban Ocon and Zhou Guanyu got caught in traffic at the end. They went out with both the McLaren drivers and Yuki Tsunoda.
Q2 of the Las Vegas GP Qualifying had more track evolution. However, it was also about the tyre performance. The cold weather meant every Formula 1 driver faced tyre warmup issues. This caught Lewis Hamilton out as he couldn’t get a good lap in.
Meanwhile, Red Bull made Sergio Perez’s Las Vegas GP tougher by keeping him in the pits in the last few minutes of Q2. Others improved and knocked him out along with Lewis Hamilton. Nico Hulkenberg, Lance Stroll, and Daniel Ricciardo joined them.
Q3 of the Las Vegas GP Qualifying was a thriller from start to finish. The two Williams and Valtteri Bottas only did one run later on. After the first runs, only 83 hundredths separated Charles Leclerc, Carlos Sainz, and Max Verstappen.
However, Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz improved on their second lap, while Max Verstappen did not. After Carlos’ grid penalty, he will start 12th, leaving Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen on the front row of the Las Vegas GP. George Russell will start 3rd, followed by Pierre Gasly, and the two Williams.