Lewis Hamilton overpowers the competition and takes a first historic pole position in the Qatar Grand Prix. The Mercedes driver had an advantage of over four and a half tenths as compared to his great rival, Max Verstappen, who will still start from the front row by beating Valtteri Bottas. However, the Dutchman’s behavior in the last attempt must be assessed: it is not clear, in fact, whether he slowed down under the double yellow flag (caused by Gasly) on the main straight and actually slightly improved his previous time.
On the other hand, the Finn from Mercedes was disappointed with third after having the best time in FP2 and FP3. The #77 car will start in front of Pierre Gasly’s AlphaTauri, unlucky at the end, breaking his front wing due to a too aggressive pass on the curb with a consequent puncture. However, the Frenchman managed to stand out, beating Fernando Alonso, Lando Norris and the first Ferrari of Carlos Sainz. However, the Spaniard finished in the top ten using the medium tire and will line up ahead of Yuki Tsunoda and Sebastian Vettel.
The biggest surprises came in Q2, with the elimination of Sergio Perez, Charles Leclerc and Daniel Ricciardo. With this result, the Mexican puts Red Bull (and Verstappen) in serious difficulty in the fight against Mercedes, while the Monegasque driver’s Ferrari was struggling to get the tyres to optimal temperature.
Another elimination in Q1 for both Alfa Romeos: Kimi Raikkonen is 16th, while Antonio Giovinazzi is 18th behind Nicholas Latifi’s Williams. The two Haas of Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin close the field.
F1 | Qatar GP 2021, the starting grid:
|1st Row||1. Lewis Hamilton (M) 1:20.827|
|2. Max Verstappen (M) 1:21.282|
|2nd Row||3. Valtteri Bottas (M)1:21.478|
|4. Pierre Gasly (M) 1:21.640|
|3rd Row||5. Fernando Alonso (S) 1:21.670|
|6. Lando Norris (S) 1:21.731|
|4th Row||7. Carlos Sainz (M) 1:21.840|
|8. Yuki Tsunoda (S) 1:21.881|
|5th Row||9. Esteban Ocon (S) 1:22.028|
|10. Sebastian Vettel (S) 1:22.785|
|6th Row||11. Sergio Perez 1:22.346|
|12. Lance Stroll 1:22.460|
|7th Row||13. Charles Leclerc 1:22.463|
|14. Daniel Ricciardo 1:22.597|
|8th Row||15. George Russell 1:22.756|
|16. Kimi Raikkonen 1:23.156|
|9th Row||17. Nicholas Latifi 1:23.213|
|18. Antonio Giovinazzi 1:23.262|
|10th Row||19. Mick Schumacher 1:23.407|
|20. Nikita Mazepin 1:25.859|