F1 2023: Leclerc secures pole at inaugural Las Vegas GP ahead of Verstappen

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For the 22nd round of the 2023 season, Formula One heads to Las Vegas for the much-hyped Las Vegas Grand Prix, set to take place over 50 laps of the 6.2-kilometre Las Vegas Strip Circuit in Nevada, USA over the course of this weekend. After cancelling the first practice session due to loose drain covers and conducting the extended FP2 after ejecting spectators, it was Charles Leclerc who secured a pole at the inaugural Las Vegas GP.
Finishing with a lap time of 1:32.726, the Monegasque led a Ferrari front-row lockout, with his teammate Carlos Sainz merely 0.044 seconds slower. However, it should be noted that Sainz will be serving a 10-place grid penalty, which means that he will be demoted to P12. Reigning champion Max Verstappen will effectively be starting the Grand Prix from second, while Mercedes’ George Russell lines up on third – with only 0.008 seconds between their best qualifying times!

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Pierre Gasly finished on P5, with Williams securing their best grid start yet behind the Alpine. Valtteri Bottas, Kevin Magnussen and Fernando Alonso rounded up the top 10 in qualifying. Meanwhile 7x world champion could only finish 11th, ahead of Red Bull’s Sergio Perez on 12th! Up until Perez, all drivers apart from Leclerc will gain a spot on the grid.
McLaren has also had a tough weekend, with both drivers out of top 15. However, Lance Stroll’s five-place grid penalty at Las Vegas GP after overtaking under yellow flags means that he will be starting the race from the 19th spot, helping move Oscar Piastri to P18 and Lando Norris to P15.
Stay tuned to TOI Auto for the 2023 F1 Las Vegas Grand Prix race report tomorrow!

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