F1: Leclerc takes pole; 'Checo' out of the top 10 in Las Vegas | Classification

F1: Leclerc takes pole; 'Checo' out of the top 10
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Charles Leclerc put to Ferrari in pole position Inaugural Las Vegas Grand Prix on Saturday, accompanied in the front row by the triple world champion of the Formula One Max Verstappen of Red Bull.

Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) was second fastest in qualifying, with Verstappen third, but the Spaniard has a penalty of 10 places on the grid after repairs to his car following damage it suffered from an incident in practice.

Charles Leclerc after scoring the first pole of the 2023 Las Vegas Grand Prix | Photo: Reuters

The Mexican, Sergio 'Checo' Pérez He had problems again on Saturday and this time he was unable to finish within the best 10 prior to the race and will start in the eleventh position.

Leclerc was the fastest in all three qualifying phases on an illuminated section of the avenue known as The Stripwith its neon backdrop of iconic hotels and casinos, for his third pole in the last four races.

The Monegasque driver was still disappointed with his laps, and a pole time of one minute 32.726 seconds was just half a tenth faster than Sainz.

Las Vegas Grand Prix 2023 | Photo: Reuters

I didn't do a good job, but it was enough for first position, so that's all we need and now we will focus on tomorrow to try to put everything into the race,” he said.

“Normally that is where we lack the most performance, so I hope we can put everything in and win here“.

George Russell will be third for Mercedeswith Pierre Gasly fourth on the grill for Alpine in the first race in Sin City since the 1980s.

The Williams couple formed by Alex Albon and the American debutant Logan Sargeant were ranked in an impressive, and surprising, fifth and sixth position.

Alexander Albon after qualifying for the 2023 Las Vegas Grand Prix | Photo: Reuters

Verstappen retired on his last lap, knowing that he did not have to beat Sainz on the track to get a place on the front row, while seeks his victory 18 in a season whose titles were decided a long time ago.

I think that today we have made the most. I think that throughout the weekend we have been lacking a little bit of performance on one lap and that has become quite clear,” said the Dutch driver.

Valtteri Bottas will come out seventh with Alfa Romeo, Kevin Magnussen eighth with haas and Fernando Alonso ninth with Aston Martin.

Lewis HamiltonMercedes' seven-time world champion, did not manage to qualify in the top ten, as he was eleventh, but will start tenth due to Sainz's penalty.

'Czech'from Red Bull, which can get the second place overall in the championship This weekend, he will start 11th, while Sainz drops to 12th.

'Checo' Pérez's Red Bull during qualifying for the 2023 Las Vegas Grand Prix | Photo: Reuters

Both McLaren They failed to pass the first phase, with the British Lando Norris 16 and his teammate, the Australian rookie Oscar Piastriin the last row in 19th place, in a setback for his attempt to consolidate fourth place in the general classification.

Both rise one place, however, after the Aston Martin of Lance Strollwho qualified 14th, received a five-place grid penalty for overtaking while double yellow flags were flying in the final free practice session.

"Very disappointed. We thought we were going to have problems this weekend, but I didn't think either car would start in Q1."McLaren's American boss, Zak Brown, told Sky Sports television.

“We know that slow corners are not our strong point and we are not bad but we are not great in these long straights and where we are strong is in the high speed and medium speed corners of which this circuit does not have many.”

It's not a good time with how close we are in the championship (Aston Martin) to have both cars in Q1, but we will see what happens tomorrow.”

Oscar Piastri's McLaren during qualifying for the 2023 Las Vegas Grand Prix | Photo: Reuters

The Alpine Esteban Ocon He will also have work to do in the race, starting from 17th on the grid after almost colliding with Verstappen at the end.

Verstappen called the Frenchman an “idiot” on the team radio while Ocon complained that: “It's a joke, honestly: Verstappen throwing himself into the first corner like a crazy man.”

Qualifying began at 02:00 in the morning, making Las Vegas the first grand prix since Japan in 2019 in which pole position was decided on same day of the race.

The scheduled start at 00:00 Mexico time, It will be the latest in the history of F1.

Las Vegas Grand Prix 2023 | Photo: Reuters

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