Nico Rosberg has qualified on pole position after Q3 was cancelled due to severe weather ahead of the United States Grand Prix.

The German set a lap time of 1:56.824 in Q2 which set the grid for the race in just under four hours’ time. His team-mate Lewis Hamilton set the second quickest time 0.1 seconds behind Rosberg’s benchmark while Aussie Daniel Ricciardo was third for Red Bull Racing.

Sebastian Vettel qualified in fifth position behind Daniil Kvyat, although will have to serve a 10-place grid penalty for taking a new engine this weekend. His team-mate Kimi Raikkonen will also incur the same penalty, which will see him drop 10 places from eighth position. Vettel’s penalty promotes the Force India pair of Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg to fifth and sixth position respectively.

Once the green light signalled the beginning of the session, most of the drivers went straight to the track as it was predicted conditions would only deteriorate throughout qualifying.

Pastor Maldonado was the first driver to set a flying lap of a 2:04.716 which was quickly beaten by Hamilton by five seconds. Rain continued to threaten the session as drivers attempted to post competitive lap times in the first qualifying period.

The red flag was brought out by Carlos Sainz, as the Spaniard took too much kerb on the exit of Turn Three and spun into the barrier at Turn Four. The brief intermission in qualifying delayed the session which brought the rain forward and tested driver’s abilities in keeping the car within the white lines.

The two Sauber drivers and the Two Manor Marussia’s failed to make the Q2 cut alongside Sainz as Vettel narrowly avoided elimination, after he spun and touched the wall which left him in the garage while the track was evolving and the lap times quickened.

Valtteri Bottas was the surprise exit of Q2 after he failed to register a clean lap early in the session. He’ll line up behind Fernando Alonso in twelfth position.


2015 Formula 1 United States Grand Prix – Qualifying Results
Pos Q2 Qualifiers Team / Entry Time Gap Laps
1. Nico Rosberg de Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W06 Hybrid 1:56.824 16
2. Lewis Hamilton uk Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W06 Hybrid 1:56.929 + 0.105 14
3. Daniel Ricciardo au Infiniti Red Bull Racing Renault RB11 1:57.969 + 1.145 16
4. Daniil Kvyat ru Infiniti Red Bull Racing Renault RB11 1:58.434 + 1.610 16
5. Sebastian Vettel^ de Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T 1:58.596 + 1.772 13
6. Sergio Pérez mx Sahara Force India Mercedes VJM08B 1:59.210 + 2.386 16
7. Nico Hülkenberg de Sahara Force India Mercedes VJM08B 1:59.333 + 2.509 16
8. Felipe Massa br Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW37 1:59.999 + 3.175 17
9. Max Verstappen nl Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR10 2:00.199 + 3.375 17
10. Fernando Alonso es McLaren Honda MP4-30 2:00.265 + 3.441 16
11. Valtteri Bottas fi Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW37 2:00.334 + 3.510 16
12. Romain Grosjean fr Lotus F1 Team Mercedes E23 Hybrid 2:00.595 + 3.771 17
13. Jenson Button uk McLaren Honda MP4-30 2:01.193 + 4.369 16
14. Pastor Maldonado ve Lotus F1 Team Mercedes E23 Hybrid 2:01.604 + 4.780 17
15. Kimi Räikkönen^ fi Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T no time 15
Pos Q1 Qualifiers Team / Entry Time Gap* Laps
16. Marcus Ericsson se Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C34 2:02.212 + 5.717 9
17. Felipe Nasr br Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C34 2:03.194 + 6.699 9
18. Alexander Rossi us Manor Marussia F1 Team Ferrari MR03B 2:04.176 + 7.681 9
19. Will Stevens^ uk Manor Marussia F1 Team Ferrari MR03B 2:04.526 + 8.031 9
Outside 107% Team / Entry Time Gap** Laps
DNQ. Carlos Sainz Jr. es Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR10 2:07.304 + 10.809 3

* Denotes gap to fastest Q1 time of 1:56.495 posted by Daniel Ricciardo
** Q3 was cancelled due to adverse weather conditions. The starting grid order will be decided on the fastest times set in Q2, adjusted for any grid penalties.

^ Post-qualifying penalties:

  • Sebastian Vettel – who originally qualified fifth-fastest – will drop 10 grid places for the unscheduled use of new power unit elements
  • Kimi Räikkönen – who originally qualified fifteenth-fastest – will drop 10 grid places for the unscheduled use of new power unit elements
  • Will Stevens – who originally qualified nineteenth-fastest – will drop 20 grid places for the unscheduled use of new power unit elements
  • Carlos Sainz Jr failed to set a Q1 within 107% of the fastest time and was allowed to race at the FIA Stewards’ discretion

Image via Mercedes AMG F1 Petronas

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Josh Kruse

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