The provisional starting grid for Sunday’s United States GP has been confirmed, with only five of the 20 drivers placed in the positions they qualified.
Behind the top five and the starting grid in Austin has been altered by four drivers – Max Verstappen, Stoffel Vandoorne, Nico Hulkenberg and Brendon Hartley – picking up engine penalties and two others, Lance Stroll and Kevin Magnussen, being hit by grid drops for blocking other cars in qualifying.
US GP Race Day: Sky F1 schedule
Red Bull’s Verstappen will start 17th, although the penalties elsewhere mean the Dutchman is only dropping 11 places from the sixth place he qualified instead of the 15 he was meant to lose for exceeding engine allowances.
Despite both being hit by three-place demotions, Stroll (16th) and Magnussen (18th) actually gain one and two places respectively on the grid due to the fact Hulkenberg and Hartley’s engine-change penalties are far larger.
Haas' Romain Grosjean had brilliant reactions to avoid the Williams of Lance Stroll who veered off the racing line.
Renault’s Hulkenberg and Toro Rosso debutant Hartley form the back row after being hit by 20 and 25 place drops respectively.
Lewis Hamilton starts on pole ahead of title rival Sebastian Vettel with the Englishman in with an outside chance of wrapping up his fourth world title early. If he wins the race, Vettel must finish at least fifth to keep the fight alive until next week’s Mexican GP.
Hamilton storms to pole ahead of Vettel
Vettel opens up on 2017 season to Sky F1
‘Ricciardo would be number two at Merc or Ferrari’
But with Valtteri Bottas starting third, Mercedes are in position to seal their fourth consecutive Constructors’ Championship on Sunday. Ferrari need to outscore the reigning champions by 17 points to stay in contention.
The race starts at 8pm on Sunday evening on Sky Sports F1, with the channel’s build-up underway from 6.30pm.
Provisional US GP starting grid
1) Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes
2) Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari
3) Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes
4) Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull
5) Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari
6) Esteban Ocon, Force India
7) Carlos Sainz, Renault
8) Fernando Alonso, McLaren
9) Sergio Perez, Force India
10) Felipe Massa, Williams
11) Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso
12) Romain Grosjean, Haas
13) Marcus Ericsson, Sauber
14) Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren
15) Pascal Wehrlein, Sauber
16) Lance Stroll, Williams
17) Max Verstappen, Red Bull
18) Kevin Magnussen, Haas
19) Nico Hulkenberg, Renault
20) Brendon Hartley, Toro Rosso
UNITED STATES GP ON SKY SPORTS F1
6.30pm – US GP Track Parade LIVE!
7pm – US GP Pit Lane LIVE!
7.30pm – US GP Race Build-up LIVE!
8pm – THE UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX LIVE!
10.30pm – US GP Paddock LIVE!
Will Lewis Hamilton clinch his fourth world championship in Austin? Watch the US GP weekend live on Sky Sports F1 – the race begins at 8pm on Sunday. Want to watch but not got Sky F1? Buy a NOW TV pass from £6.99!