F1 Qatar GP Live Commentary and Updates - FP3 and Qualifying
By: Megan White, Stefan Mackley
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10:23 With qualifying done and dusted we will wrap up this live text commentary, but be sure to check back tomorrow for the main event: The inaugural F1 Qatar GP which starts at 2pm GMT (5pm local time). You won't want to miss it!
Need a recap on Qatar GP qualifying? Look no further:
10:16 That is Hamilton's first pole since the Hungarian GP (officially at least) and his fourth pole of the year. Could it be his most important of the year?
10:13 That sets up the race rather well, doesn't it? Hamilton on pole joined on the front row by title rival and championship leader Verstappen.
10:10 Bottas on his P3: "It has been a good weekend until qualifying. I don't know what happened overnight but I could feel it in FP3. I was still fastest but I had to push a lot so knew I would struggle."
10:08 Hamilton on his Qatar GP pole: "Thursday and Friday I wasn't feeling too well, so I was off a bit yesterday, but we were here until midnight last night and found a lot of areas where I could improve. That last lap was beautiful."
10:06 Verstappen on qualifying P2: "We just lacked pace, it was harder in qualifying too, which shows with Checo not in Q3. But it is still all to play for."
10:05 No doubt the drivers will reveal if they lifted on the final lap with Gasly stopped on the track but it won't change the results. Hamilton on pole from Verstappen and Bottas. Gasly, despite his Q3 mishap, takes fourth.
10:04 Replays reveal what happened to Gasly, he runs over the kerbs at Turn 15 and it looks like his front wing takes a battering, comes loose and that is what causes his tyre puncture.
10:02 Verstappen did improve with a 1m21.282s - a lap allowed as the yellow flags for Gasly were withdrawn before he arrived at the scene - but he stays second which means Hamilton is on pole for the Qatar GP!
10:01 Gasly has a puncture and has stopped on the track just before the starting grid hatchings. That could be qualifying done and dusted.
10:00 ...and completes the lap with a 1m20.827s.
09:59 Hamilton is flying on his final lap, fastest of all in sectors one and two...
09:58 Verstappen opts for the opposite tactics to Hamilton and comes out of the pits last of the 10 contenders.
09:57 Hamilton takes to the track first again in Q3. It worked out well for him last time.
09:56 Everyone is back in the pits getting fresh softs for the second and final run in Q3.
09:55 Alonso, who was the last on the track for his first Q3 run, got a lovely boost of slipstream from Hamilton finishing his lap and that, added to a very good lap, sees the Alpine driver slot into fifth place.
09:53 Verstappen's first effort is a 1m21.424s to go P2. Hamilton holds provisional pole by 0.162s, with Bottas in third and Gasly in fourth.