Nico Rosberg has taken pole after a shortened qualifying session as the weather continued to play chaos with the United States Grand Prix. The German was one second faster than his Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton.
The final session was cancelled as the weather conditions had deteriorated to the point that the track was too dangerous. Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel starts fifteenth after qualifying fifth fastest because of a ten place grid penalty.
If Hamilton manages to take Rosberg on the start and Vettel fails to get within nine points of the British driver he will become world champion. Vettel and team-mate Kimi Raikkonen have been penalised for using their fifth engine one more than the rules allow.
Sergio Perez starts ahead of his Force India team-mate Nico Hulkenberg. Then everyone moves up so Felipe Massa who qualified ninth moves to Seventh for Williams, Toro Rosso’s Max Verstappen starts eight and Fernando Alonso ninth.
Rosberg says he felt comfortable with the car. Saying “It is quite challenging – the car snaps quite suddenly, but I got a good lap together.” The session was action packed because the first ten minutes were the best in terms of lap times.
However, conditions still proved difficult as Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz demonstrated after he lost control of his car crashing at Turn 4, damaging the left front suspension and wing which brought the red flag out.
When the session resumed the rain had go heavier but Hamilton and Rosberg still managed to go faster along with Daniel Ricciardo. The most difficult spot was turn ten seeing Hulkenberg, Verstappen, Kvyat and Bottas big moments, and seeing Raikkonen and Hamilton spin.
Fernando Alonso just missed on Q3 with McLaren team-mate Jenson Button fourteenth. But the session was abandoned as the rain got heavier.