F1 Grand Prix practice results: Bottas fastest in Qatar
Valtteri Bottas was fastest for Mercedes on the opening day of Qatar Grand Prix practice at Losail International Circuit on Friday, the 20th round of the 2021 Formula 1 World Championship.
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was fastest in FP1 but it was Bottas who set the quickest time of the day – under the floodlights in FP2 – at 1m23.148s.
Pierre Gasly was an impressive second fastest in both sessions for AlphaTauri.
Qatar Grand Prix FP1 results: Verstappen fastest from Gasly
|1||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||22||1'23.723||231.334|
|6||Carlos Sainz Jr.||Ferrari||26||1'24.713||0.990||0.065||228.630|
|8||Sergio Perez||Red Bull||22||1'24.915||1.192||0.125||228.086|
|12||Sebastian Vettel||Aston Martin||19||1'25.328||1.605||0.037||226.982|
|14||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo||23||1'25.757||2.034||0.069||225.847|
|15||Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo||25||1'25.828||2.105||0.071||225.660|
|19||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin||11||1'26.712||2.989||0.013||223.360|
|View full results|
What happened in Free Practice 1?
First practice in Qatar took place in daytime, meaning it was not fully representative of either qualifying or the race, both of which will begin at dusk in cooler conditions.
Verstappen spent the early part of FP1 on the hard compound tyre, trading fastest times with McLaren's Lando Norris on mediums, but was able to enjoy a 0.3 second margin over the field once they had completed their initial runs.
While Bottas initially took P1 for Mercedes when making the switch to soft tyres – despite running beyond track limits on his fastest lap – Verstappen was able to strike back and post a best time of 1m23.723s.
It gave Verstappen top spot by four tenths by the end of the session as former teammate Gasly shot up to second place with a quick run using the soft tyres late on. Bottas remained third.
Verstappen's title rival, Lewis Hamilton, could only finish the session in fourth place, 0.786s off the Red Bull's lap. Throughout the session, Hamilton reported that his engine felt down on power, but was reassured by his race engineer that his straightline speed was not hugely down on that of his rivals.
Yuki Tsunoda was fifth for AlphaTauri, ahead of the Ferraris of Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc. The second Red Bull of Sergio Perez – a winner here in GP2 Asia – was only eighth in this session.
Qatar Grand Prix FP2 results: Bottas fastest from Gasly
|3||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||20||1'23.498||0.350||0.141||231.957|
|6||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin||26||1'23.705||0.557||0.073||231.384|
|8||Sergio Perez||Red Bull||20||1'23.787||0.639||0.052||231.157|
|9||Sebastian Vettel||Aston Martin||27||1'24.020||0.872||0.233||230.516|
|10||Carlos Sainz Jr.||Ferrari||28||1'24.033||0.885||0.013||230.480|
|15||Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo||26||1'24.631||1.483||0.496||228.852|
|17||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo||23||1'25.072||1.924||0.118||227.665|
|View full results|
What happened in Free Practice 2?
In FP2, Verstappen set the early pace on medium tyres at 1m23.743s, which was quickly beaten by Hamilton on 1m23.604s and then Bottas on 1m23.324s.
Bottas was the first frontrunner to use soft tyres, producing 1m23.154s, with Hamilton’s opening soft run 0.416s down on that. Bottas’s time was then deleted for exceeding track limits but he then ran again, producing a 1m23.148s – the fastest time of the day.
Gasly had a big slide at the final corner and just kept his car out of the gravel but went P2 on a second attempt on the same soft rubber, two tenths down on Bottas.
Verstappen produced 1m23.579s on softs after running wide, just 0.009s off Hamilton in third, then Max improved to 1m23.498s after a quick pitstop.
Lando Norris was fifth fastest for McLaren, 0.422s off the pace, ahead of Lance Stroll (Aston Martin), Tsunoda and Perez.
Nikita Mazepin – the only other driver in the field who’s raced here before – missed the session while his Haas chassis was switched as he damaged his car in FP1.
Bathurst 12 Hour: Mostert puts Audi on top in Practice 1
Bathurst 12 Hour: Mostert puts Audi on top in Practice 1 Bathurst 12 Hour: Mostert puts Audi on top in Practice 1
McLaughlin: “I’m fast enough to win the IndyCar championship”
McLaughlin: “I’m fast enough to win the IndyCar championship” McLaughlin: “I’m fast enough to win the IndyCar championship”
How will FIA decide on F1's potential new teams?
How will FIA decide on F1's potential new teams? How will FIA decide on F1's potential new teams?
Everything we know about F1 2023: Drivers, cars, tracks & more
Everything we know about F1 2023: Drivers, cars, tracks & more Everything we know about F1 2023: Drivers, cars, tracks & more
Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver
Assessing Hamilton's Mercedes stint Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver
Why new-look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era
Why new-look Haas is a litmus test Why new-look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era
The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff
Assessing Wolff's Mercedes influence The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff
The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate
The line-up Ocon, Gasly may emulate The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate
Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022?
Who were the fastest F1 drivers? Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022?
Nico Hulkenberg: Why F1's nearly man is refreshed and ready for his return
Why Hulkenberg is ready for return Nico Hulkenberg: Why F1's nearly man is refreshed and ready for his return
Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss
Why Vasseur relishes the pressure Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss
The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023
F1 2023's crucial tech changes The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023
Subscribe and access Motorsport.com with your ad-blocker.
From Formula 1 to MotoGP we report straight from the paddock because we love our sport, just like you. In order to keep delivering our expert journalism, our website uses advertising. Still, we want to give you the opportunity to enjoy an ad-free and tracker-free website and to continue using your adblocker.