America’s hopes: Reflecting on U.S. past (history), present (Rossi), future (Haas F1)

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Here’s three features from the United States Grand Prix pre-show on Sunday.

First up is a historical narrative from Sam Posey, reflecting on U.S. past dating back to the late 1950s and early 1960s (see above).

We come next to Alexander Rossi, who’s now made his first three Grands Prix starts with Manor F1 Team, in the Manor Marussia Ferrari. Rossi has recorded his best finish yet, of 12th, this past Sunday on home soil.

Lastly we look ahead to the debut of Haas F1 Team, the first American-entered F1 entrant in 30 years, when it takes the grid in 2016. NBC’s Steve Matchett sits down with Gene Haas, and team principal Guenther Steiner, to hit various topics as the team continues its preparations for its debut.

F1: Hamilton leads Mercedes front row lockout in France

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Lewis Hamilton needed to outduel teammate Valtteri Bottas in qualifying for Sunday’s French Grand Prix, after the Finn jumped ahead of the Briton on his final run – Bottas turned in a lap at 1:30.147 to barely get clear of Hamilton.

However, Hamilton ultimately got the last laugh and turned in a 1:30.029 on his final lap, bettering Bottas by just over one tenth of a second, to take the 75th pole of his career.

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel qualified third, followed by the Red Bull Racing duo of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo in fourth and fifth. Vettel’s Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen ended up sixth.

Renault’s Carlos Sainz Jr. qualified seventh, and Sauber’s Charles Leclerc qualified a brilliant eighth as the Frenchman continued a strong rookie campaign in front of his home crowd.

The Haas duo of Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean completed the top 10, with Grosjean actually crashing out of Q3 after nosing his VF-18 into a barrier.

Results are below. Of note: the McLaren drivers of Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne failed to advance out of Q1 and qualified 16th (Alonso), and 18th (Vandoorne), though Vandoorne will start 17th as Brendon Hartley will start at the back of the grid after Toro Rosso changed several components of the power unit.

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