Mercedes AMG at the 2014 Formula One United States Grand PrixEnlarge Photo
Behind them will start the two Williams drivers Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa in third and fourth spots, respectively. Position five will be filled by Infiniti Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo while Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso will start at sixth on the grid.
Seventh and eighth fastest today were McLaren drivers Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen, respectively, but Button drops five places due to a gearbox change penalty. This means Magnussen will start the race at seventh. Eighth on the grid goes to Ferrari man Kimi Räikkönen, ninth to Sauber’s Adrian Sutil and tenth to Lotus' Pastor Maldonado.
There were no major dramas during the qualifying session. As previously reported, both Caterham and Marussia will be sitting out the race, which meant the qualifying format needed to be revised. Where normally the six slowest cars are eliminated after Q1, with six more dropped after Q2, race organizers made the decision that the slowest four cars exited after Q1, followed by another four after Q2. This left the usual 10 cars remaining for the final Q3 session. Also of note, Red Bull’s other driver Sebastian Vettel sat out the session as he is forced to start the race from pit lane due to his team's decision to use a sixth powertrain this season. Five is the penalty-free limit.
The weather in Austin, Texas is looking good for the race. Going into the event, Lewis Hamilton leads the 2014 Drivers’ Championship with 291 points. Nico Rosberg remains in second with 274 points while Daniel Ricciardo sits in third with 199 points. In the Constructors’ Championship, Mercedes AMG has already been declared the champion thanks to its unbeatable 565 points. Red Bull is in second with 342 while Williams is in third with 216.