Roundup of FP3 and Qualifying as Charles Leclerc claimed pole for the 2023 Las Vegas Grand Prix.
Leclerc dominated most of FP3 until he failed to put in a qualifying simulation time on the soft tyre, but rebounded to top Qualifying, although it won’t be a Ferrai one-two front-row lockout due to a grid penalty for Carlos Sainz because of a FP1 incident beyond his and the team’s control.
Now here is a roundup of all the action across FP3 and Qualifying for 2023 Las Vegas Grand Prix.
McLaren’s Oscar Piastri and Lando Norris were first out on track but it was Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas who set the initial pace on soft tyres with 1m 39.875, although he soon found himself battling Ferrari’s Sainz and Charles Leclerc who both opted for the medium tyre.
Sainz and Leclerc soon afterwards traded fastest laps with the Spaniard emerging quickest in the opening 20 minutes with 1m 35.939, only for Leclerc to go 0.031 seconds quicker in the 21st minute.
Red Bull’s Sergio Perez however set the pace at the halfway mark of the session with 1m 35.146 set in the 28th minute.
Williams’ Alex Albon soon was the first driver to trigger the qualifying simulations but nobody beat Perez’s lap time until the 46th minute, when George Russell lowered the benchmark to 1m 34.585 but Piastri went 0.094s quicker four minutes later.
Russell though wasn’t denied as he responded in the 54th minute with a session-topping 1m 34.093 just before Albon lost his left-rear tyre following contact with the wall at Turn Five.
The session eventually was red flagged two minutes later with Albon stranded on track following his incident, whilst Russell topped the timing sheet ahead of Piastri and US favourite, Logan Sargeant who was a surprise third for Williams.
Leclerc and Sainz finished in 16 and 17th positions respectively after they failed to set a proper flying lap on the soft tyre.
|1||George Russell||Mercedes||1m 34.093|
|2||Oscar Piastri||McLaren||+ 0.398|
|3||Logan Sargeant||Williams||+ 0.552|
|4||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||+ 0.560|
|5||Sergio Perez||Red Bull||+ 0.613|
|6||Alex Albon||Williams||+ 0.633|
|7||Fernando Alonso||Aston Martin||+ 0.695|
|8||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes||+ 0.760|
|9||Valtteri Bottas||Alfa Romeo||+ 0.815|
|10||Kevin Magnussen||Haas||+ 0.974|
|11||Lando Norris||McLaren||+ 0.996|
|12||Nico Hulkenberg||Haas||+ 1.019|
|13||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin||+ 1.160|
|14||Esteban Ocon||Alpine||+ 1.204|
|15||Guanyu Zhou||Alfa Romeo||+ 1.788|
|16||Charles Leclerc||Ferrari||+ 1.815|
|17||Carlos Sainz||Ferrari||+ 1.846|
|18||Yuki Tsunoda||AlphaTauri||+ 1.994|
|19||Pierre Gasly||Alpine||+ 2.392|
|20||Daniel Ricciardo||AlphaTauri||+ 3.685|
Haas’ Magnussen and Hulkenberg were first out on track and Magnussen set a benchmark 1m 35.968 in the fourth minute, but it was Leclerc who quickly set the pace throughout Q1 as he lowered his benchmark time to 1m 33.617 in the 15th minute.
Once everyone set a representative lap time after Russell saw his first effort deleted due to track limits at Turn Eight, the elimination zone compromised of; Zhou, Ricciardo, Hulkenberg, Gasly and Tsunoda with four minutes left on the clock.
As the checkered flag fell, Ricciardo, Hulkenberg and Gasly survived at the expense of McLaren who suffered a double elimination, as Norris qualified 16th and Piastri only 19th with Ocon and Zhou splitting the pair in 17th and 18th positions respectively.
Tsunoda meanwhile finished as the slowest driver after he spun at Turn Five on his final flier.
Aston Martin’s Alonso and Stroll were first out on track but it was Magnussen who set the initial benchmark time of 1m 34.319 in the fourth minute.
Six drivers quickly bettered Magnussen’s effort as Alonso set the pace with 1m 33.880 in the sixth minute ahead of Perez and Leclerc.
Once everyone eventually set a lap time, Sargeant, Stroll, Ricciardo, Bottas and Hulkenberg found themselves in the elimination zone, but Hulkenberg and Bottas soon dropped Albon and Gasly into the bottom five with three minutes left.
Leclerc meanwhile lowered the benchmark time to 1m 32.834 in the 11th minute, barely a minute after Hamilton and Verstappen had gone fastest ahead of Russell.
As the checkered flag fell upon Q2, Hulkenberg qualified 13th ahead of Stroll and Ricciardo whilst Hamilton found himself knocked out in 11th position ahead of Perez – after the Mexican didn’t opt to run at the end of the session.
Stroll though will start the race from 19th on the grid after he received a five-place grid penalty for having failed to slow under yellow flags in FP3.
Up front, Leclerc further lowered the benchmark time to 1m 32.775 to set the pace ahead of Q3.
Magnussen was first out on track for the final qualifying segment and set a benchmark 1m 34.275 but his time was quickly displaced, as Leclerc went quickest with 1m 33.021 ahead of Sainz and Verstappen with the trio split by 0.083s after their first flying laps.
Albon, Sargeant and Bottas meanwhile opted to only do one flying lap at the end of the session, as Leclerc headed Sainz, Verstappen, Alonso, Russell, Gasly and Magnussen out of the seven drivers who delivered an early Q3 lap.
At the checkered flag, Leclerc claimed his fifth pole position of the season with 1m 32.726 as Sainz fell 0.040s short, although a ten-place grid penalty will drop him to 12th on the grid with Verstappen promoted to second.
Russell qualified fourth ahead of Gasly, Albon, Sargeant, Bottas, Magnussen and Alonso with those seven also promoted a position up the grid order, with Hamilton taking tenth spot on the grid ahead of Perez despite their Q2 exits.
|1||Charles Leclerc||Ferrari||1m 32.726|
|2||Carlos Sainz||Ferrari||+ 0.044|
|3||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||+ 0.378|
|4||George Russell||Mercedes||+ 0.386|
|5||Pierre Gasly||Alpine||+ 0.513|
|6||Alex Albon||Williams||+ 0.597|
|7||Logan Sargeant||Williams||+ 0.787|
|8||Valtteri Bottas||Alfa Romeo||+ 0.799|
|9||Kevin Magnussen||Haas||+ 0.811|
|10||Fernando Alonso||Aston Martin||+ 0.829|
|11||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes||1m 33.837|
|12||Sergio Perez||Red Bull||+ 0.018|
|13||Nico Hulkenberg||Haas||+ 0.142|
|14||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin||+ 0.362|
|15||Daniel Ricciardo||AlphaTauri||+ 0.471|
|16||Lando Norris||McLaren||1m 34.703|
|17||Esteban Ocon||Alpine||+ 0.131|
|18||Guanyu Zhou||Alfa Romeo||+ 0.146|
|19||Oscar Piastri||McLaren||+ 0.147|
|20||Yuki Tsunoda||AlphaTauri||+ 1.744|