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FACTS AND STATS: Leclerc takes a 21st career pole position as Hamilton extends his COTA qualifying streak

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Sean Kelly
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AUSTIN, TEXAS - OCTOBER 20: Pole position qualifier Charles Leclerc of Monaco and Ferrari speaks to

With only one hour of practice behind them, qualifying was always going to be a fraught affair and so it proved on a scorching hot day in Austin. Charles Leclerc grabbed a slightly unexpected pole position, his third of the season while the red-hot favourite Max Verstappen had to make do with a relatively lowly sixth.

Here are the best facts and stats from a fascinating qualifying at COTA…

  • It was Leclerc’s 21st career pole (most for any driver without a world championship)

  • This was Leclerc’s fourth front row start this season and all have been on Sprint weekends (Baku, Austria, and Spa)

  • Leclerc being on pole means he is the fifth different pole-sitter at the last five races in Austin.

READ MORE: Leclerc outduels Norris and Hamilton to take pole in Austin after Verstappen has time deleted

  • Lando Norris’ second place is McLaren’s first front row start in Austin since Lewis Hamilton won his last race from the team – which he won from second on the grid.

  • A good sign for Norris is that the driver starting second has led the first lap in four of the last five races in Austin.

  • This is Norris’ third front row start of the season (the most in any season so far in his career)

  • Hamilton starts from third in Austin, which is the same position from which he retired at the first corner in Qatar.

  • Hamilton has never started outside of the top five at his 10 previous races in Austin.

  • Hamilton’s efforts means he and George Russell are tied at nine a piece in their qualifying head-to-head this year.

  • Carlos Sainz qualified fourth which means he has been outqualified by Leclerc for the third consecutive race.

  • Russell, in fifth, qualified one place lower in Austin this year than he did last year.

AUSTIN, TEXAS - OCTOBER 20: Pole position qualifier Charles Leclerc of Monaco and Ferrari

Leclerc grabbed his first pole since Belgium

  • Max Verstappen will start sixth on the grid but was originally on pole until his lap time was deleted for exceeding track limits at the final corner.

  • Verstappen will have to win the race from sixth on the grid for the second time this year having done so at Spa.

  • Verstappen also won the other race to be held in the US earlier this season in Miami from ninth on the grid.

WATCH: Ride onboard as Leclerc clinches stellar pole position for United States GP

  • Seventh is Pierre Gasly’s best starting position at Austin.

  • Gasly has never been out qualified by a team mate in his five visits to Austin.

  • Esteban Ocon in eighth means both Alpine (formerly Renault) cars are in the top eight of the grid in Austin for the first time since 2013.

  • Sergio Perez is in ninth but only made it into Q1 by 0.018s.

  • Five teams reached Q3, which is the minimum number.

  • Yuki Tsunoda qualified 11th on the grid for the fourth time in the last seven races

AUSTIN, TEXAS - OCTOBER 20: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands and Oracle Red Bull Racing prepares

Verstappen had to settle for P6 after losing a lap time to track limits in Q3

  • Zhou Guanyu’s 12th place is his best qualifying performance since his fifth place in Hungary.

  • Zhou has out qualified his team mate, Valtteri Bottas, for the first time since the summer break (six races)

  • Daniel Ricciardo qualified 15th, the same position as last year.

HIGHLIGHTS: Watch the qualifying action as Leclerc takes United States GP pole after Verstappen loses lap time

  • Nico Hulkenberg, in 16th, missed out on a place in Q2 by just 0.022s.

  • Fernando Alonso qualified 17th but was previously the only driver to have made it into Q3 after every race this year.

  • Alex Albon in 18th and Logan Sargeant in 20th means both Williams cars have been knocked out in Q1 for the first time since Spa.

  • Lance Stroll will start from 19th on the grid this year but last year he was fifth.

  • Sargeant qualified in 20th making it his 14th Q1 elimination in 18 qualifying sessions this season.

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