Sainz left it late to topple Leclerc with a brilliant final lap of Q3 to snatch his third pole of the season, just 0.065s clear of Leclerc, who will drop 10 places on the grid for Sunday’s race at COTA after taking on a fresh engine and turbocharger. 

That will promote newly-crowned two-time world champion Verstappen onto the front row alongside Sainz after the Dutchman ended up missing out on pole by just 0.092s. 

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Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez was fourth-quickest in qualifying but he also has a five-place grid penalty to come for changing his engine. 

The impending grid drops for Leclerc and Perez mean Lewis Hamilton - who was fifth - will line-up from third, matching his best starting position of the 2022 season. 

Seven-time world champion Hamilton outpaced Mercedes teammate George Russell by 0.041s but was over half a second behind Sainz following a scruffy final run. Russell will complete an all-Mercedes second row next to Hamilton. 

Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll impressed on his way to seventh ahead of Lando Norris’ McLaren. 

Fernando Alonso was ninth for Alpine but will also drop five places for taking on a new power unit, while Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas completed the top 10. 

Alex Albon narrowly missed out on a spot in Q3 with a great lap in his Williams to take 11th, ahead of Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel and Pierre Gasly, whose qualifying was hampered by brake issues for the second race in a row. 

The frustrated Frenchman was 13th, ahead of Zhou Guanyu - who thought he had a time good enough for a spot in the top-10 until his quickest lap was deleted for track limits - and AlphaTauri teammate Yuki Tsunoda. 

Kevin Magnussen was 16th-fastest for Haas, ahead of McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo, who along with the Alpine of Esteban Ocon, were surprise eliminations in Q1. 

Mick Schumacher, fighting to keep his Haas seat, spun on his way to 19th, one-tenth clear of Williams’ Nicholas Latifi, who was slowest in qualifying for the eighth time this season.