Daniel Ricciardo big winner from star’s penalty in US Grand Prix qualifying AUSTIN, TEXAS – OCTOBER 21: Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and McLaren F1 talks in the Paddock during previews ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of USA at Circuit of The Americas on October 21, 2021 in Austin, Texas. Chris Graythen/Getty Images/AFP == FOR NEWSPAPERS, INTERNET, TELCOS & TELEVISION USE ONLY ==


Daniel Ricciardo has outpaced his McLaren teammate at the United States Grand Prix was a big winner after a rival’s penalty.

Daniel Ricciardo will start the United States Grand Prix from the third row on the grid following a dramatic day of qualifying.

The Australian narrowly escaped disaster in the second qualifying session before he rebounded to out-pace teammate Lando Norris when it mattered.

Ricciardo finished qualifying P7, but has been promoted to P6 after Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas was issued a five-place grid penalty for engine upgrades earlier this weekend.

Ricciardo was more than 0.9 seconds behind pole-sitter Max Verstappen, but will be satisfied with pipping Norris by 0.1 seconds.

Nearest rivals Ferrari will start ahead of the McLarens — with the two teams scrapping to finish third in the constructor’s championship.

“It was OK,” Ricciardo said of the session.

“We’re right there to battle them (Ferraris) tomorrow.”

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Verstappen, in a Red Bull, stormed to pole with the final lap of Q3, bumping championship rival Lewis Hamilton to second.

Verstappen, who has a six-point lead over Hamilton in the championship, claimed his ninth pole of the season with a time of 1min 32.910sec, two tenths faster than the British driver.

Sergio Perez, in the second Red Bull, was third fastest, just 0.15sec behind Hamilton.

Ricciardo was lucky to make it through to the final session after he finished the second session ninth quickest.

The 32-year-old had his first lap time deleted for exceeding track limits.

“That can’t happen,” Sky Sports F1 guru Martin Brundle said of Ricciardo exceeding the Turn 9 limit by just 10cm.

The McLarens have struggled for pace this weekend and will have to chase down their rival Ferraris in Monday’s race.

Verstappen will be looking at them in his rearview mirrors on the starting grid.

“In Q3 my first lap wasn’t amazing but in the final lap it started drizzling in the final sector so I wasn’t sure if I could hold on to my lap time but it came together,” said Verstappen.

Hamilton said: “I gave it everything today – it was a bit of a struggle through qualifying.

“I think from P1 onwards we kind of fell back a little bit and the Red Bull guys were incredibly quick.

“I was happy with my last lap, of course there’s always areas we can improve but I think that was pretty much everything we had.

“We’ll just work as hard as we can tomorrow. My mindset is to win the race.”

In an indication of the intense pressure building in the title race, Verstappen had branded Hamilton a “stupid idiot” in Friday practice.

He was angered by the Mercedes man pushing past on the inside of his Red Bull when the Dutchman was lining up a flying lap.

United States Grand Prix qualifying results

1 — Max Verstappen

2 — Lewis Hamilton

3 — Sergio Perez

4 — Charles Leclerc

5 — Carlos Sainz

6 — Daniel Ricciardo

7 — Lando Norris

8 — Pierre Gasly

9 — Valtteri Bottas

10 — Yuki Tsunoda

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