Hamilton claims much-needed pole in Austin

Updated: 

Lewis Hamilton will start on pole at the United States Grand Prix after getting the better of team-mate Nico Rosberg by a comfortable margin as Mercedes dominated qualifying in Austin.

Reigning world champion Hamilton trails Rosberg by 33 points in the drivers' standings, with only four races remaining this season.

The Briton therefore has much work to do in order to defend his title, but at least ensured he will start from the best possible position on Sunday in a race he has won in three of the last four seasons.

Hamilton, whose victories in the US in 2012, 2014 and 2015 all came after he had failed to claim pole, produced a time of one minute and 34.999 seconds in his final run to easily beat Rosberg's time of 1:35.215.

Daniel Ricciardo (+0.510secs) was a distant third, with Red Bull colleague Max Verstappen (+0.748s) the only other man within a second of Hamilton.

Unlike the two Mercedes drivers and Verstappen, Ricciardo will start the race on supersoft tyres - Red Bull having opted to run split strategies.

The Ferraris of Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel rounded out the top six on Saturday, as Mercedes locked down the front row for the 10th time in 2016.

 

Provisional classification

1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 1:34.999
2. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) 1:35.215
3. Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) 1:35.509
4. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) 1:35.747
5. Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) 1:36.131
6. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) 1:36.358
7. Nico Hulkenberg (Force India) 1:36.628
8. Valtteri Bottas (Williams) 1:37.116
9. Felipe Massa (Williams) 1:37.269
10. Carlos Sainz (Toro Rosso) 1:37.326