Max Verstappen starts Qatar GP in second, pole position for Lewis Hamilton



Verstappen seemed to set the fastest time in Q1, but in the end Hamilton dived 95 thousandths below the time of the Dutchman. Bottas followed behind Verstappen at two hundredths. The first part of qualifying turned out to be the final station for Kimi Raikkonen, Nicholas Latifi, Antonio Giovinazzi, Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin.

In the second part of qualifying, the Red Bull and Mercedes drivers came out on the mediums. With the yellow belt under his car, Verstappen went into second, but the gap to Hamilton was a lot bigger: three tenths. Pierre Gasly and Fernando Alonso decided to screw the red tire under their car and with that they surprisingly settled in second and third place. So they forced Verstappen to fourth place.

It turned out to be a dramatic day for Sergio PĂ©rez, as he couldn’t make it even on the softest tyre. Verstappen’s teammate did not get further than eleventh place. Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo also surprisingly did not make it. Q2 also proved to be the end station for Lance Stroll and George Russell.

In the decisive part of qualifying, Verstappen set the second fastest time after his first run. Even in a not perfect lap, Hamilton turned out to be a tenth faster than the Dutchman. In his second run Hamilton took another huge bite off his fastest time. Verstappen was also faster than his first lap of Q3, but could not match Hamilton’s time.

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