Lewis Hamilton has taken pole position for the United States Grand Prix with rival Vettel just 2 tenths behind.
With Hamilton and Vettel just half a tenth apart in FP3 and the championship potentially decided this weekend, we were set up for an exciting qualifying in Austin.
Additionally, Vettel would start with a new chassis and a plethora of grid penalties already set including 15 places for Verstappen and 25 places for Toro Rosso debutant Brendon Hartley.
So Q1 got underway and the returning Daniil Kvyat was first out for his first qualifying since Singapore, he kicked off with a 1:37.865. He was then overtaken by Wehrlein by 0.183 seconds.
Hartleys first qualy run put him 3rd with a 1:38.1.
Hamilton then went out for his initial run and went wide at turn 12 to set a 1:36.4.
A good lap from Alonso then saw him move into 2nd as Verstappen went fastest.
Grosjean nearly had a nasty accident as Stroll decided to move off the track t allow him past but Grosjean had the same idea and also moved out, ending up in the grass.
Meanwhile, Hartley, Magnussen and Grosjean were all in the bottom 5 and needed to improve to escape Q1.
Grosjean then popped it into 14th and out of the drop off unlike teammate Magnussen who only went 18th.
Hartley, on the other hand, managed to get out of the drop off in 15th but was put back out by Vandoorne while stroll failed to get out and Magnussen dropped back down to last.
Out in Q1: Ericsson, Stroll, Hartley, Wehrlein & Magnussen.
With 20 place grid penalty to take Hulkenberg decided to save the tyres and not go out in Q2.
Lewis Hamilton kicked off the session with an initial lap of 1:33.560 (a record for COTA) as Bottas was close behind, 2 tenths down on the Brit.
Verstappen went wide coming out of 19 to go 4th fastest as Vettel went 3rd and Teammate Ricciardo went 5 tenths faster than Verstappen.
Alonso was then called into the weighbridge while in 11th place.
Kvyat went wide out of turn 10 on his final lap and improved by a tenth but was still unable to get out of the session.
Grosjean followed suit and went 14th. Alonso then managed to go 7th in the Mclaren only to be beaten by Sainz in the Renault and then Perez took 7th to push Massa out.
Out in Q2: Massa, Kvyat, Vandoorne, Grosjean & Hulkenberg.
Q3 got under-way as the battle for a crucial pole a the Circuit of the Americas.
Hamilton’s lap got off to a shaky start but he soon took back control to set a 1:33.108 while Bottas went just under half a second slower. While the Red Bull’s lined up 3rd & 4th.
Vettel then overtook Verstappen to go 3rd, but Raikkonen (having set the fastest sector 1) came across the line to overtake the German.
Sainz, on the other hand, had decided to leave his Q3 attempt until the end of the session.
Vettel was the first to start his second lap ad he took the chance and put his Ferrari in 2nd place.
Ricciardo and Verstappen then went 4th and the fastest as Raikkonen then split the two Red Bulls.
Hamilton failed to improve on his already record-breaking lap time and as Bottas remained in 3rd, Hamilton took his 72nd pole on what could be the weekend he becomes a 4-time world champion.
Final results are as follows