In a one-hour sprint that may be nearly as dramatic as the big race itself, Red Bull Racing's Max Verstappen won the top starting position for Sunday's U.S. Grand Prix in the race qualifiers on Saturday.
The three-day Formula 1 event, which has brought hundreds of thousands to Austin's Circuit of the Americas to see a historic neck-and-neck rivalry between Verstappen and Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton, will culminate in the final U.S. Grand Prix competition at 2 p.m. on Sunday.
And the duo didn't disappoint in the qualifying round. Just as rain began to fall, Verstappen edged out the seven-time champ in a crowd-pleasing qualifying round that saw the Dutchman take the pole position from Hamilton just after the checkered flag waved on Saturday afternoon.
Hamilton took second as he fell behind his younger competitor, while Verstappen's teammate Sergio Perez took the third position in the starting grid.
The world's best drivers first competed in a 20-, minute trial as they looked to grab the fastest lap times.
In Formula 1 qualifiers, each driver can attempt as many flying laps as they desire in F1's qualifiers until the flag is waved and the bottom five are taken out of the running for the best racing spots. The top 15 drivers then continue to Round 2, with the bottom five in that race taking the 11th through 15th spots in Sunday's race.
Finally, a hotly-contested 10-minute battle determines the top 10 spots for the final competition, with the fastest driver taking the pole position and winning a big advantage in the big race.
Final starting grid
Here's how that starting grid will look come Sunday afternoon:
- Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing
- Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes
- Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing
- Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes (will start ninth due to a penalty)
- Charles Leclerc, Ferrari
- Carlos Sainz, Ferrari
- Daniel Riccardo, McClaren Mercedes
- Lando Norris, McClaren Mercedes
- Pierre Gasly, Alphatauri Honda
- Yuki Tsunoda, Alphatauri Honda
- Esteban Ocon, Alpine Renault
- Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin Mercedes
- Antonio Giovinazzi, Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari
- Fernando Alonso, Alpine Renault
- George Russell, Williams Mercedes
- Lance Stroll, Aston Martin Mercedes
- Nicholas Latifi, Williams Mercedes
- Kimi Räikkönen, Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari
- Mick Schumacher, Haas Ferrari
- Nikita Mazepin, Haas Ferrari
Here's how those three rounds played out:
Round One- Leclerc takes surprise lead
With Verstappen and Hamilton just six points apart, it may seem like the qualifiers would stay a Red Bull vs. Mercedes battle. But even after a standout practice session from Hamilton earlier in the day, it was Ferrari's Charles Leclerc who took Round One.
The Mercedes two took second and third, while drivers Nikita Mazepin, Mick Schumacher, Kimi Raikkonen, Nicholas Latifi and Lance Stroll were knocked out of the running. They'll take the last five spots in tomorrow's starting grid.
Round Two- Verstappen bests Hamilton
Kicking off Q2 on the Mediums. Lewis and Valtteri slot into P2 and P3 after the first runs. 👊 pic.twitter.com/Qla3O8ujl6— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) October 23, 2021
Round Two proved more predictable as Hamilton and Verstappen duked it out for the first two slots. Daniel Riccardo, a fan favorite and member of McClaren Mercedes, just scraped by with a ninth place finish. Drivers Fernando Alonso, George Russell, Antonio Giovinazzi, Sebastian Vettel and Esteban Ocon were eliminated from the final round.
Round Three- Verstappen takes down teammate and Hamilton for pole position
A gust of wind began as the final qualifying round commenced, and Red Bull took advantage of the breeze as Sergio Perez bested teammate Verstappen to take the provisional pole less than four minutes in. A Mexico native, he was met with plenty of cheers from admiring fans as he crossed that first finish.
But Verstappen wasn't finished. The Dutchman held second place over Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas and Hamilton until the clock ran out, when Hamilton pulled an upset for his final round to momentarily take first place.
Braving the rain, Verstappen pumped the gas for a final effort to finish with a race-best 1:32.91 lap time to take his seventh pole in the last ten races.
- NASCAR returning to Austin's COTA for second year - austonia ›
- W Series announce F1 partnership race at COTA in 2021 - austonia ›
- Formula 1 announces Miami Grand Prix, COTA no longer only U.S. ... ›
- COTA added to F1's 2022 schedule, but contract still not secured ... ›
- Formula 1 fans from near and far are more excited than ever to head ... ›
- Formula 1 is returning to Austin in 2021 - austonia ›
- Could the US Grand Prix 'F1 be done with Austin's COTA? - austonia ›
- Formula 1 announces Miami Grand Prix, COTA no longer only U.S. ... ›
- Formula 1 in Austin: A complete guide to the 'biggest event on the ... ›
- LIVE: It's a Verstappen vs. Hamilton battle at F1's U.S. Grand Prix - austonia ›
- F1 at COTA: Verstappen wins first U.S. Grand Prix! - austonia ›
- Austin's COTA sees biggest race ever as Formula 1 tightens grip on U.S. market - austonia ›
- COTA to add in luxury trackside 'car condos' for racing enthusiasts after successful USGP race - austonia ›
- 2022 U.S. Grand Prix tickets go on sale, but no peep yet from COTA officials - austonia ›
By Jonathan Lee
The Planning Commission was split Tuesday on whether to help save an eclectic lakefront estate from demolition by zoning it historic amid concerns over tax breaks and the likelihood that a previous owner participated in segregation as a business owner.
The property in question, known as the Delisle House, is located at 2002 Scenic Drive in Tarrytown. The main house, with Spanish and Modern influences, was built in 1923 by Raymond Delisle, an optician. A Gothic Revival accessory apartment was built in 1946. The current owner applied to demolish the structures in order to build a new home.'
Historic preservationists, for their part, overwhelmingly support historic zoning, which would preserve the buildings in perpetuity. The Historic Landmark Commission unanimously voted to initiate historic zoning in July, citing architectural significance, landscape features and association to historic figures. City staffers recommend historic zoning, calling both structures one-of-a-kind examples of vernacular architecture.
Tarrytown neighbors have also banded together to stop the demolition. Many have written letters, and a few spoke at the meeting. “How could anyone buy this property with the intent of destroying it?” Ila Falvey said. “I think it’s an architectural treasure.”
Michael Whellan, an attorney representing the property owner, said that the claims made by preservationists are shaky. The buildings are run down, he said, and have had substantial renovations. A structural engineer hired by the owner said any attempt at preservation would involve tearing down and rebuilding – an undertaking Whellan said would likely cost millions.
Whellan also argued that any historical significance derived from the property’s association with Delisle and longtime owner C.H. Slator is dubious. “These men are not noted for any civic, philanthropic or historic impact,” he said.
What’s more, according to Whellan, Slator likely participated in segregation as the owner of the Tavern on North Lamar Boulevard between 1953 and 1960.
A city staffer, however, said she found no evidence to support the claim. “We would never landmark a property where a segregationist lived, or there was a racist person,” Kimberly Collins with the Historic Preservation Office said.
Commissioner Awais Azhar couldn’t support historic zoning in part due to lingering uncertainty about Slator. “Focusing on that factor is not here to disparage an individual or family. It is not about playing the race card. This is an important assertion for us to consider as Planning commissioners,” Azhar said.
Commissioner Carmen Llanes Pulido said that allegations of racism should come as no surprise. “We’re talking about white male property owners in the 1950s, in Austin, on the west side – and of course they were racist,” she said. But she argued that allowing the house to be demolished based on these grounds does nothing to help people of color who have been harmed by racism and segregation.
The question of tax breaks was also controversial. Michael Gaudini, representing the property owner, said that the tax breaks associated with historic zoning would exacerbate inequality by shifting property tax burdens to less affluent communities. City staffers estimate that the property, appraised at $3.5 million, would get either a $8,500 or $16,107 property tax break annually, depending on whether a homestead exemption is applied.
Commissioner Grayson Cox preferred the commission focus not on tax breaks but on whether the structures merit preservation. “To me, nothing in the historic preservation criteria lists, is this person deserving of a tax break or not?”
Azhar, on the other hand, said he plans to propose a code amendment getting rid of city property tax breaks for historic properties.
The commission fell one vote short of recommending historic zoning, with six commissioners in support and three opposed. Azhar and commissioners Claire Hempel and Greg Anderson voted against.
The odds of City Council zoning over an owner’s wishes are slim. Nine out of 11 members must vote in favor, and there have only been a handful of such cases over the past several decades.
What's new in Austin food & drink this week:
- Nau's Enfield Drug closing after losing their lease. Did McGuire Moorman Lambert buy the building, with its vintage soda fountain?
- Nixta Taqueria Chef Edgar Rico named to Time Magazine's Time 100 Next influencer list, after winning a James Beard Award earlier this year.
- Question: From what BBQ joint did pescatarian Harry Styles order food this week?
- Austin Motel is opening the pool and pool bar Wednesday nights in October for Freaky Floats.
- Vincent's on the Lake closing due to "economic conditions and low water levels [at Lake Travis]."
- Cenote has closed its Windsor Park location. The East Cesar Chavez location remains open.
- The Steeping Room on N. Lamar has closed.
- Local startup It's Skinnyscored new financing for its gluten-free pasta business.
- P. Terry's opened a new location in Kyle, at 18940 IH-35.