Las Vegas Grand Prix: Leclerc on pole as Hamilton struggles

Charles Leclerc took pole position for the Las Vegas Grand Prix after Ferrari dominated qualifying in Formula 1’s prestigious new race in Sin City.

Leclerc was quicker by just 0.044 seconds than team-mate Carlos Sainz, who has a 10-place grid penalty and will start 12th.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen – who was third fastest, 0.378secs off the top spot – will start alongside Leclerc.

Mercedes driver George Russell was fourth, ahead of Alpine’s Pierre Gasly.

In a frantic final few seconds of the session, Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso plummeted from being fourth after the first runs to 10th.

Struggling on the straights in the Aston Martin, Alonso was pipped by a clutch of drivers more used to be towards the back but who did only one run in the final session, with Williams drivers Alex Albon and Logan Sargeant sixth and seventh, Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas eighth and Haas’ Kevin Magnussen ninth.

Lewis Hamilton could manage only 11th in his Mercedes, and the second Red Bull driver Sergio Perez, joined him in being knocked out in the second session in 12th place after Red Bull miscalculated and brought him into the pits with more than two minutes remaining in the session, resulting in him dropping down from sixth.

Both will move up a place as a result of Sainz’s penalty. (BBC)