Nico Rosberg secured his third consecutive pole position in a heavy rain-shortened qualifying session already delayed from Saturday due to the extreme weather at the Circuit of the Americas.
Rosberg’s Q2 time ultimately was enough to secure top spot after the rain that has affected the whole weekend in the United States intensified once more meaning the final Q3 was cancelled.
The two Mercedes AMG PETRONAS drivers will once again lockout the front row, with Rosberg being joined by champion-elect Lewis Hamilton, with just 0.105s between them in a session that saw many drivers, Hamilton included, either spin or run off track in the tricky conditions.
The Infiniti Red Bull Racing team will start side-by-side on row two, with Daniel Ricciardo outpacing Daniil Kvyat by 0.465s, with Ricciardo having set the pace in the first qualifying session when conditions were slightly better.
Sebastian Vettel finished the session in fifth for the Scuderia Ferrari team, but was lucky to still be in the session when he spun at turn ten, a corner that caught out many drivers, and hitting the barrier side-on during Q1. He recovered to the pits, and watched from the sidelines as his rivals attempt to knock him out of qualifying at the first stage, coming through by the skin of his teeth in P15. Unfortunately for the German, he will start from fifteenth due to his engine change penalty.
Inheriting fifth on the grid therefore will be the Sahara Force India of Sergio Perez, who will be joined on the third row by team-mate Nico Hulkenberg, with both drivers having off-track moments during the session.
Kimi Raikkonen was eighth quickest in the second Ferrari but will also drop ten places down the grid due to his engine penalty, meaning Felipe Massa will start seventh for Williams Martini Racing alongside Max Verstappen of Scuderia Toro Rosso, while Fernando Alonso will start the highest a McLaren-Honda has started all season in ninth alongside the second Williams of Valtteri Bottas.
Romain Grosjean will start just outside the top ten in the leading Lotus alongside the second McLaren of Jenson Button, while Pastor Maldonado will start thirteenth in the second Lotus.
Marcus Ericsson will join Maldonado on the seventh row despite being eliminated in Q1 after a couple of spins in his Sauber, while Vettel will be joined on the eighth row by the second Sauber of Felipe Nasr.
Alexander Rossi will start seventeenth for his home Grand Prix for the Manor F1 Team, just ahead of Raikkonen.
Carlos Sainz Jr was an early casualty as he spun into the barriers during Q1 at turn three, damaging the front of his Toro Rosso and causing a red flag, and he will join the Manor of Will Stevens on the back row, who will take a grid penalty for changing parts of his engine this weekend.
Circuit of the Americas Qualifying Result
|3||3||Daniel Ricciardo||AUS||Red Bull-Renault||1m57.969s|
|4||26||Daniil Kvyat||RUS||Red Bull-Renault||1m58.434s|
|6||11||Sergio Perez||MEX||Force India-Mercedes||1m59.210s|
|7||27||Nico Hulkenberg||GER||Force India-Mercedes||1m59.333s|
|10||33||Max Verstappen||NED||Toro Rosso-Renault||2m00.199s|
|-||-||Eliminated in Q1||-||-||-|
|20||55||Carlos Sainz Jr||ESP||Toro Rosso-Renault||2m07.304s|