Formula 1

Hamilton takes scorching pole for first ever Qatar GP

Featured image credit: @f1 official twitter

Lewis Hamilton took a dominant pole for the Qatar Grand Prix, qualifying nearly half a second faster than title rival Max Verstappen. 

Valtteri Bottas was third, but Sergio Perez was distant 11th after failing to make it to Q3.


Hamilton moved to the top of the timesheets on his first timed lap, before Bottas shaded his effort by just 0.003s.

Verstappen was the first driver to dip under the 1m22s mark to head the Mercedes duo, before Hamilton went just under 0.1s quicker to end the session fastest. Carlos Sainz was fourth for Ferrari, while team-mate Charles Leclerc scraped into Q2 with a late effort that put him 13th.

George Russell was another to make a late improvement to make it through, but Williams team-mate Nicholas Latifi missed out after ending up 17th quickest.

Alfa Romeo duo Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi, and the Haas pair of Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin were also eliminated.


Hamilton improved on his Q1 time to lead the way again on the medium compound tyre from Alpha Tauri’s Pierre Gasly on the soft compound, and the pair remained there until the end of the session. Fernando Alonso was third for Alpine, ahead of Verstappen and Bottas.

But Red Bull suffered a blow when Sergio Perez could only manage the 11th fastest time, despite running the soft tyre, and was eliminated.

Lance Stroll also failed to make it through in 12th, while Leclerc’s struggles continued with 13th.  Daniel Ricciardo also was knocked out for McLaren, as was Russell.


Hamilton set the benchmark again on his first run, with Verstappen 0.162s adrift in second and Bottas close behind in third.

On his final effort, Hamilton went quicker still with a 1m20.827s to clinch pole, with Versapen almost half a second slower despite also improving on his time.

Bottas was unable to improve, and finished over 0.6s behind his team-mate in third. Gasly’s strong weekend continued with the fourth quickest time, despite damaging his kerb and a tyre on a kerb on his final run.

Alonso was an impressive fifth, ahead of McLaren’s Lando Norris. Sainz was seventh ahead of Alpha Tauri’s Yuki Tsunoda.

Esteban Ocon (Alpine) and Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin) rounded out the top 10.

Provisional grid

  1. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes
  2. Max Verstappen, Red Bull
  3. Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes
  4. Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri
  5. Fernando Alonso, Alpine
  6. Lando Norris, McLaren
  7. Carlos Sainz, Ferrari
  8. Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri
  9. Esteban Ocon, Alpine
  10. Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin

Featured image credit: @f1 official twitter

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