16:43 3 November
Lewis Hamilton finished fifth in Austin after a close-miss with Max Verstappen.
Lewis Hamilton finished fifth in Austin Austin
Austin, United States Of America
He's almost certain to celebrate after the race, but Lewis Hamilton had an underwear qualifying session for the United States Grand Prix, finishing fifth after a near-miss with Max Verstappen.
At turn 19 in Q2, there was a close encounter between Verstappen and Hamilton, who had waged a war of words through the media following their collision at the start of the Mexico Grand Prix last week, with Hamilton complaining about the threat of being "torpedoed" by the aggressive style of the Red Bull driver and Verstappen accusing him of being "unrespectful."
Verstappen was forced into the grass as he tried to pass through Hamilton, whom himself was trying to overtake Daniil Kvyat's, Toro Rosso. Stewards decided that the incident was not worthy of investigation, although there was a hint of contempt when Verstappen was asked about it.
"We were all lined up to make our lap, to get to the last corner," he said. "We slowed down to make space, and Lewis just walked away like no one was there, and I didn't care, and I said, ' Well, if you don't care I don't care, I'm going to get my position back, '" he added, admitting it was "a close call."
Hamilton's been downplaying the moment. "Just nothing, nothing at all," he said. "There are no rules and regulations that say that you need to stay in a single file. I kept going, and then he started to try to race me."
Hamilton's Mercedes teammate, Valtteri Bottas, secured pole position on Saturday with a lap time of 1,32,029, just ahead of Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel and Verstappen. The pole leader of this season, Charles Leclerc, was fourth. In the third practice session, he had to switch to the used engine after an oil leak in his Ferrari.