Sainz on pole after Austin 'adventure' but feels Verstappen remains favourite

By Sports Desk October 22, 2022

Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz enjoyed his "adventure" in qualifying for the United States Grand Prix, though he feels Red Bull are still favourites for Sunday's race.

The Spaniard secured the second pole of his Formula One season after a blistering final lap in Q3 in Austin, climbing over teammate Charles Leclerc, who will serve a 10-place grid penalty and will therefore start 12th in Sunday's race.

Sainz has the advantage on the front row, where eight of the last nine winners have started, but feels Max Verstappen, who will start alongside him, is favourite for the race.

"It was fun, a lot of fun. It was very tricky with the wind, it's so gusty, it's a bit of an adventure with these cars, you don't know how much wind to expect but I managed to put together a good lap without mistakes," he said on the grid after the session.

"It was a long time coming after a few qualifying sessions in the dry but not quite getting there.

"I think Red Bull are still favourites, they have the better race pace. They normally get us in the race, Max does a great job, Red Bull has a very good car, but we're going to do everything we can to stay ahead tomorrow and win the race, which would be an amazing way to start these next four races."

Sainz's teammate Leclerc had hoped to secure a 10th pole of the season, though he would not have started from the front due to the engine penalty, but was pleased for his colleague.

"It is difficult with the wind obviously from lap to lap but overall I did my best," he said.

"The last lap wasn't the best and Carlos did a better job today and deserves to be on pole.

"I will be starting a bit further back because for the penalty but the plan is to come back to the front as quickly as possible."

PROVISIONAL CLASSIFICATION

1. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) 1:34.356
2. Charles Leclerc* (Ferrari) +0.065
3. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) +0.092
4. Sergio Perez (Red Bull) +0.289
5. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) +0.591
6. George Russell (Mercedes) +0.632
7. Lance Stroll (Aston Martin) +1.242
8. Lando Norris (McLaren) +1.334
9. Fernando Alonso (Alpine) +1.520
10. Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo) +1.963

* Received a 10-place grid penalty for exceeding quota of power unit elements and will start from 12th

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