Kiwi Brendon Hartley has set the 18th fastest time in qualifying for the US Grand Prix but he will start at the back of the grid after taking a penalty for a power unit change.

The Toro Rosso driver momentarily set a time good enough for 15th on his final lap in Q1 but was ultimately eliminated along with both Sauber drivers, Williams driver Lance Stroll and Haas's Kevin Magnussen as the remaining drivers completed their final lap.

Hartley was less than a second slower than Russian teammate Daniil Kvyat in what was described by commentators as a respectable first qualifying performance given the 27-year-old is in his first weekend with the team.

"Gave away a lot at Turns 12 and 15," Hartley reported after his team told him he was within "half a tenth" of making Q2.

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"It was OK," Hartley said. "We knew we had a grid penalty anyway. I would like to have been a bit faster - didn't quite get it together.

"I am a bit short of mileage in terms of banging on a new set and going for it."

Hartley is confident he can make improvements and be more competitive in the race tomorrow morning.

"If I can do the same long runs I did in practice we should be able to move up.
"I would like to do a clean race - starting at the back will be tricky."

Lewis Hamilton grabbed pole position by setting a blistering time of 1:33.108s - a new lap record at the Circuit of the Americas. He edged Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel and Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas.

Max Verstappen, Nico Hulkenberg and Stoffel Vandoorne will join Hartley by receiving grid penalties while Magnussen and Stroll could also be penalised after being investigated for impeding drivers in qualifying.