Valtteri Bottas claimed his 11th pole position in Formula One – his fifth of the 2019 season and first at COTA, 12 thousandths of a second.
That was the infinitesimal gap that separated Sebastian Vettel from Valtteri Bottas’ pole time in qualifying for the United States Grand Prix. Lining up right behind Vettel will be his team-mate Charles Leclerc, who had to settle for fourth place beside Verstappen on third, in what was the most closely contested qualifying session of the season with the top four drivers – Bottas, Seb, Verstappen and Charles – all within 108 thousandths.
This is very satisfying – it’s been a while since we’ve last been on pole, so this is a great feeling. I was struggling with the car yesterday, but we’ve made a number of changes overnight and today the car felt much better. I knew going into qualifying that the car had the potential to fight at the front, I just had to get a good lap together. I’m very pleased with my first lap in Q3; it wasn’t quite perfect, but good enough to put us on pole. It’s always an advantage to start from the front; now it’s up to me to try and maintain the lead at the start tomorrow. Our long runs looked good yesterday, so hopefully we can get a strong result in the race.