Gutiérrez set the 15th-fastest time in Q1 with a lap of 1:38.053 and Grosjean was 17th quickest with a lap of 1:38.308. Only the top-16 drivers advance to Q2, which meant Haas F1 Team’s 12-race streak of getting both drivers into Q2 came to an end Saturday at COTA.
In Q2, Gutiérrez earned the 14th fastest time with a lap of 1:37.773. Only the top-10 drivers from Q2 move on to Q3.
Both Gutiérrez and Grosjean ran exclusively on the Pirelli P Zero Red supersoft tire throughout qualifying.
Taking the pole for the United States Grand Prix was Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton. His fast lap of 1:34.999 set a new track qualifying record and was .216 of a second better than his nearest pursuer and teammate, Nico Rosberg. It was Hamilton’s 58th career Formula One pole, his ninth of the season and his first at COTA. Even with Hamilton on the pole, Rosberg remains in the driver’s seat in the championship standings. He holds a 33-point advantage over Hamilton heading into Sunday’s race.
Before Gutiérrez, Grosjean and the rest of their Formula One counterparts participated in knockout qualifying, they had one final practice (FP3) to dial in their racecars for a quick lap around the 5.513-kilometer (3.426-mile), 20-turn track.
Both ran exclusively on the Red supersofts, with Gutiérrez setting the 16th-fastest time with a 1:38.939 and Grosjean just a tick behind in 17th with a 1:39.097. Each driver logged a total of 13 laps in stints of two laps, six laps and five laps and they both earned their best time on their 11th lap.
Quickest in FP3 was Red Bull driver Max Verstappen, whose fast lap of 1:36.766 was .266 of a second better than his teammate, Daniel Ricciardo.
Romain Grosjean, Driver No. 8, Haas F1 Team
“We’re missing downforce here and paying a heavy price for it. This is a track that needs a lot of downforce and we just don’t have enough. Low speed is very difficult for us. We were struggling here yesterday with some pieces coming off and we didn’t learn much on track. Today is a bit of a summary of yesterday. We’ve been on the back foot since the beginning and we just haven’t had the grip. We’re good with the top speed but, unfortunately, the pace of the car overall doesn’t look good for tomorrow.”
Esteban Gutiérrez, Driver No. 21, Haas F1 Team
“It hasn’t been an easy weekend for the team. We struggled a lot on Friday. Today we focused and gave it everything we’ve got and this is the best result we could get. Unfortunately, we lost some parts on Friday and we’re not using our new front wing, so that’s a few tenths that could have helped us get into Q3, which is what we’re looking for. In the end, it all comes down to focusing and driving as quickly as possible. This is what I did today and it’s what I’m going to do tomorrow to try to get the best result for the team.”
Guenther Steiner, Team Principal, Haas F1 Team
“Not an unexpected qualifying result. We struggled yesterday. We had a lot of downtime with small issues on the cars, so we didn’t do a lot of running. In FP3 we got a little better understanding and then finished 14th and 17th in qualifying. It was a very good job from Esteban to get into Q2. Romain almost made it, but he got a bit hung up in traffic in the last sector of his lap, so he ended up 17th, just one place out of Q2. We will try to do our best tomorrow. Nevertheless, we’ve learned a lot over the weekend. We keep on learning every time. Last week we had both cars in Q3. This week we got stuck with one car in Q1. It’s so close in the midfield, and that’s the main reason why these things happen. Our car doesn’t seem to be very good in the slow-speed areas and you can see that on sector three of this circuit. But we’ll be up and going for tomorrow and aim to have a good race.”