Lewis Hamilton has labelled the Circuit of the Americas as "legendary" after finishing third fastest in a thrilling qualifying for the United States Grand Prix.
The Mercedes driver finished 0.139secs adrift of Ferrari's Charles Leclerc in the race for pole and just 0.009s off McLaren's Lando Norris in a session ignited by Max Verstappen's late lap time deletion for exceeding track limits at Turn 19.
Drivers are faced with a challenging layout at the Austin venue with the bumpy track surface combined with sectors that vary between tight-and-twisting to fast-and-sweeping in design.
"I love it in the States, this circuit is just incredible," said Hamilton.
"It is one of the drivers' favourites - definitely one of my favourites. This is right up there with Silverstone, it really is a legendary layout that all the drivers find tricky.
"It is bumpy, incredibly challenging in each section."
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Hamilton grateful for Mercedes effort
With the chase on to catch Red Bull at the front of the field, Ferrari, McLaren and Mercedes have converged to create a stunning battle for best of the rest at each Grand Prix.
An upgrade has been added to the Silver Arrows for the US Grand Prix and Hamilton beamed: "I have to say a big thank you to everyone back in the factory who have been pushing so hard to improve our car.
"We have taken a bit of a step closer to these guys this weekend which I know everyone is working so hard for.
"I really do appreciate everyone's efforts - unfortunately they remain a little bit ahead but we will give it our best shot tomorrow."