World championship leader Lewis Hamilton scorched to pole position in United States Grand Prix with a record-breaking performance as he dominated qualifying.
The 32-year-old Briton, who can clinch his fourth world championship if he wins the race and title rival Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari fails to finish in the top five, claimed his 11th pole of the season to give himself the prime starting position.
Four-time champion Vettel qualified in second place and will start alongside Hamilton on the front row of the grid with Valtteri Bottas third in the second Mercedes.
Hamilton was at his best in near-perfect conditions at the Circuit of the Americas, where he has won four of the five races run at the track, as he increased his record haul of pole positions to 72.
He clocked a best lap time of one minute and 33.108 seconds, outpacing Vettel by two-tenths after a supreme effort by the German on his final lap.
He also set a new record by claiming his 117th career front row start, beating the old mark of 116 set by Michael Schumacher.
“I have done all I can and feel I am well prepared,” said Hamilton. “I think it is highly unlikely that I will take the title here tomorrow - that is not likely to be the case. Sebastian did a great job to get his car back up there and unless he makes a silly mistake — which is unlikely as he is a four-time world champion — we will see it going on from here,” he added.
Vettel said: “I was happy in the end with the car, but we lacked some rhythm. We came good when it mattered and I believe our race pace is good. Well done to Lewis today..”