Full USGP qualifying times HERE
- Rosberg bounces back from tough FP3 to take ninth pole of the year
- Hamilton to start second ahead of Williams pair
- Vettel makes one run in Q1 despite pit lane start
Nico Rosberg will start from pole position for the United States Grand Prix after beating championship leader Lewis Hamilton by 0.4s.
After Rosberg had a tough FP3 which saw him almost a second slower than Hamilton due to braking issues, he recovered to deliver an impressive lap in Q3 and take pole with a 1:36.067.
Hamilton's challenge never really materialised as a gap of less than 0.2s on the first runs was extended to almost 0.4s on the final attempts. The result will be even more disappointing for Hamilton - who holds a 17-point title lead - because he had been quickest in all three practice sessions and Q1.
Valtteri Bottas will head an all-Williams second row ahead of Daniel Ricciardo and Fernando Alonso, with Jenson Button, Kevin Magnussen, Kimi Raikkonen and Adrian Sutil rounding out the top ten. Button, however, will start from 12th as a result of a gearbox penalty.
Four teams dropped out in each of Q1 and Q2 due to the absence of Marussia and Caterham, and Rosberg was comfortably quickest in Q2, going a full second faster than Hamilton as a close battle developed for the final place in the top ten shootout. Sutil took it to put Sauber through to the final part of qualifying for the first time this season, with Pastor Maldonado running wide at the penultimate corner and blowing his chance but still qualifying a season's best 11th.
Both Force Indias fell in the second part of qualifying, along with Daniil Kvyat who will drop to the back of the grid as the result of using a seventh internal combustion engine (ICE). As Kvyat is unable to take the full ten-place penalty in one go, he will carry over a drop of six places to next weekend's Brazilian Grand Prix.
The first part of Q1 predictably saw Sebastian Vettel drop out as he will start the race from the pit lane having changed his whole power unit, but the Red Bull did make one run in qualifying. His one flying lap was also enough to beat Romain Grosjean, who made an error on his final lap and was slowest overall.
Jean-Eric Vergne and Esteban Gutierrez were the other two drivers to drop out in the first part of qualifying, with Vergne just 0.05s away from making it through.