F1 Grand Prix qualifying results: Hamilton takes Qatar pole

Lewis Hamilton took pole position for the inaugural Qatar Grand Prix at Losail International Circuit, the 20th round of the 2021 F1 World Championship, ahead of title rival Max Verstappen.

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Hamilton will start ahead of the Red Bull of Verstappen and his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas after the one-hour qualifying session, which is split into three segments with five cars each being knocked out in Q1 and Q2 before the top-10 shootout of Q3.

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Qatar Grand Prix qualifying results: Hamilton on pole from Verstappen

Cla Driver Time Gap km/h
1 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton 1'20.827   239.622
2 Netherlands Max Verstappen 1'21.282 0.455 238.281
3 Finland Valtteri Bottas 1'21.478 0.651 237.708
4 France Pierre Gasly 1'21.640 0.813 237.236
5 Spain Fernando Alonso 1'21.670 0.843 237.149
6 United Kingdom Lando Norris 1'21.731 0.904 236.972
7 Spain Carlos Sainz Jr. 1'21.840 1.013 236.656
8 Japan Yuki Tsunoda 1'21.881 1.054 236.538
9 France Esteban Ocon 1'22.028 1.201 236.114
10 Germany Sebastian Vettel 1'22.785 1.958 233.955
11 Mexico Sergio Perez 1'22.346 1.519 235.202
12 Canada Lance Stroll 1'22.460 1.633 234.877
13 Monaco Charles Leclerc 1'22.463 1.636 234.868
14 Australia Daniel Ricciardo 1'22.597 1.770 234.487
15 United Kingdom George Russell 1'22.756 1.929 234.037
16 Finland Kimi Raikkonen 1'23.156 2.329 232.911
17 Canada Nicholas Latifi 1'23.213 2.386 232.752
18 Italy Antonio Giovinazzi 1'23.262 2.435 232.615
19 Germany Mick Schumacher 1'23.407 2.580 232.210
20 Russian Federation Nikita Mazepin 1'25.859 5.032 225.579

What happened in Q1?

Hamilton set the early bar in Q1, lapping in 1m22.019s, two tenths clear of Verstappen. After a poor first run, Bottas went P1 by 0.003s on the same set of soft tyres at his second attempt with 1m22.016s.

Verstappen then took the top spot with a lap of 1m21.996s, 0.02s quicker than Bottas, but Hamilton responded on the very last lap of the session, producing 1m21.901s, to beat his title rival by 0.095s.

Falling at the first hurdle were Kimi Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo), Nicholas Latifi (Williams), Antonio Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo) and the Haases of Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin.

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Qatar Grand Prix Q1 results: Hamilton fastest from Verstappen

Cla Driver Chassis Laps Time Gap Interval km/h
1 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 6 1'21.901     236.480
2 Netherlands Max Verstappen Red Bull 6 1'21.996 0.095 0.095 236.206
3 Finland Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 8 1'22.016 0.115 0.020 236.149
4 Spain Carlos Sainz Jr. Ferrari 9 1'22.304 0.403 0.288 235.322
5 Mexico Sergio Perez Red Bull 6 1'22.398 0.497 0.094 235.054
6 Spain Fernando Alonso Alpine 6 1'22.422 0.521 0.024 234.985
7 Japan Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri 6 1'22.458 0.557 0.036 234.883
8 France Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri 8 1'22.535 0.634 0.077 234.664
9 Germany Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin 9 1'22.549 0.648 0.014 234.624
10 Canada Lance Stroll Aston Martin 9 1'22.551 0.650 0.002 234.618
11 France Esteban Ocon Alpine 6 1'22.565 0.664 0.014 234.578
12 Australia Daniel Ricciardo McLaren 8 1'22.688 0.787 0.123 234.229
13 Monaco Charles Leclerc Ferrari 9 1'22.742 0.841 0.054 234.077
14 United Kingdom Lando Norris McLaren 7 1'22.839 0.938 0.097 233.802
15 United Kingdom George Russell Williams 10 1'22.863 0.962 0.024 233.735
16 Finland Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo 9 1'23.156 1.255 0.293 232.911
17 Canada Nicholas Latifi Williams 10 1'23.213 1.312 0.057 232.752
18 Italy Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo 8 1'23.262 1.361 0.049 232.615
19 Germany Mick Schumacher Haas 9 1'23.407 1.506 0.145 232.210
20 Russian Federation Nikita Mazepin Haas 9 1'25.859 3.958 2.452 225.579

What happened in Q2?

The pole position hunters started this session using the medium tyre, with Hamilton setting the pace on 1m21.682s, three tenths up on Verstappen. AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly got in between them, however, using soft tyres after getting through Q1 on mediums.

The second runs were taken with almost all of the runners on softs, apart from Sainz who didn’t improve but made it through to Q3 anyway. Gasly improved to 0.046s off Hamilton’s P1 time, and Fernando Alonso’s Alpine jumped up to an impressive third.

The big surprise here was Red Bull’s Sergio Perez failing to make Q3, despite switching to soft tyres and failing to dislodge Sainz by 0.105s – blaming it on the timing of the run.

Also knocked out at this point were Lance Stroll (Aston Martin), Charles Leclerc (Ferrari, who reported he had “no idea” what was wrong), Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren) and George Russell (Williams).

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Qatar Grand Prix Grand Prix Q2 results: Hamilton fastest from Gasly

Cla Driver Chassis Laps Time Gap Interval km/h
1 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 6 1'21.682     237.114
2 France Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri 6 1'21.728 0.046 0.046 236.981
3 Spain Fernando Alonso Alpine 6 1'21.894 0.212 0.166 236.500
4 Netherlands Max Verstappen Red Bull 6 1'21.984 0.302 0.090 236.241
5 Finland Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 6 1'21.991 0.309 0.007 236.221
6 France Esteban Ocon Alpine 6 1'22.012 0.330 0.021 236.160
7 Japan Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri 6 1'22.058 0.376 0.046 236.028
8 Germany Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin 6 1'22.146 0.464 0.088 235.775
9 United Kingdom Lando Norris McLaren 8 1'22.216 0.534 0.070 235.574
10 Spain Carlos Sainz Jr. Ferrari 6 1'22.241 0.559 0.025 235.502
11 Mexico Sergio Perez Red Bull 6 1'22.346 0.664 0.105 235.202
12 Canada Lance Stroll Aston Martin 6 1'22.460 0.778 0.114 234.877
13 Monaco Charles Leclerc Ferrari 6 1'22.463 0.781 0.003 234.868
14 Australia Daniel Ricciardo McLaren 7 1'22.597 0.915 0.134 234.487
15 United Kingdom George Russell Williams 6 1'22.756 1.074 0.159 234.037

What happened in Q3?

On the first run, Hamilton set the pace at 1m21.262s, 0.162s faster than Verstappen’s 1m21.424s and two tenths clear of Bottas’s 1m21.478s.

On the second run, Hamilton unleashed his 1m20.827s, taking pole by 0.455s ahead of Verstappen. Gasly – who was running directly behind Hamilton – then punctured his right-front tyre after smashing a kerb and breaking his front wing.

He ground to a halt before the finish line, causing an intermittent yellow flag in the final sector – causing some drivers to abort their runs. But some drivers, including Verstappen, improved their times.

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Bottas will start third, ahead of Gasly, whose opening lap was good enough for fourth, Alonso, Norris, Sainz, Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri), Esteban Ocon (Alpine) and Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin).

Qatar Grand Prix Q3 results: Hamilton takes pole

Cla Driver Chassis Laps Time Gap Interval km/h
1 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 6 1'20.827     239.622
2 Netherlands Max Verstappen Red Bull 6 1'21.282 0.455 0.455 238.281
3 Finland Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 6 1'21.478 0.651 0.196 237.708
4 France Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri 5 1'21.640 0.813 0.162 237.236
5 Spain Fernando Alonso Alpine 6 1'21.670 0.843 0.030 237.149
6 United Kingdom Lando Norris McLaren 6 1'21.731 0.904 0.061 236.972
7 Spain Carlos Sainz Jr. Ferrari 6 1'21.840 1.013 0.109 236.656
8 Japan Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri 6 1'21.881 1.054 0.041 236.538
9 France Esteban Ocon Alpine 6 1'22.028 1.201 0.147 236.114
10 Germany Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin 6 1'22.785 1.958 0.757 233.955
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