2023 F1 Las Vegas GP qualifying results: Leclerc takes pole
Leclerc will start ahead of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and George Russell (Mercedes) after the one-hour qualifying session, which is split into three segments with five cars each being knocked out in Q1 and Q2 before the top-10 shootout of Q3.
The second Ferrari of Carlos Sainz was second quickest but drops down to 12th with a 10-place grid penalty.
Leclerc set the pace at 1m33.617s, two tenths ahead of Sainz.
Falling at the first hurdle were Lando Norris (McLaren), Esteban Ocon (Alpine, who almost got hit by Verstappen at Turn 1 on his final attempt), Zhou Guanyu (Alfa Romeo), Oscar Piastri (McLaren) and Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri).
Leclerc against set the quickest time at 1m32.775s, over half a second clear of Sainz.
Knocked out at this point were Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), Sergio Perez (Red Bull), Nico Hulkenberg (Haas), Lance Stroll (Aston Martin, who also has a five-place grid penalty for overtaking under yellows in practice) and Daniel Ricciardo (AlphaTauri).
On the first runs, Leclerc set the bar at 1m33.021s, 0.022s faster than Sainz.
On the final runs, Leclerc improved to 1m32.726s, 0.044s ahead of Sainz on 1m32.770s.
But Sainz has a 10-place grid penalty for replacing power unit components after his car was wrecked by hitting a loose water valve cover in FP1, and he will start 12th.
Verstappen aborted his final attempt but will start alongside Leclerc on the front row.
Russell was fourth fastest, and will start third, ahead of Pierre Gasly (Alpine), Alex Albon (Williams), Logan Sargeant (Williams), Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo), Kevin Magnussen (Haas) and Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin).