Hamilton with a 1 min 20.827s lap time gets pole in qualifying at the first ever Qatar Grand Prix. Behind 0.4 secs was title rival Max Verstappen and on third was team mate Valtteri Bottas.
Red Bull was lacking pace with Max struggling and Sergio Perez (P11) out in Q2. Other shocking exits were Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc (P13) and McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo (P14). Their respective team mates however, were able to get decent lap times – Norris at P6 with Sainz just behind him at P7.
“I’ve no idea what’s going on.“, said Leclerc after Q2
Norris and Leclerc also got their lap times deleted in Q1 at the last turn – Turn 16. Whereas Hungary winner, Esteban Ocon complained of some issues regarding his car.
“Whole car is shaking when I’m braking.” – Ocon
On the brighter side, Alpine’s Fernando Alonso will start tomorrow’s race at P5. And in front of the Spaniard will be Frenchman – Pierre Gasly at P4. Despite shining under the lights, the AlphaTauri driver suffered a front-right puncture during his last hot lap. His front wing broke due to the punishing kerb at Turn 15. This lead to the wing flying away which pierced the soft tyre.
Commenting on his lap that gave him the 102nd pole position of his career, Lewis said – “That last lap was beautiful. It was a really sweet lap. This track is amazing to drive. Woo, it felt good!”
Lewis did not feel well since Wednesday due to a stomach ache but in time he felt better. The proof? He was the only driver in this qualifying to go into the 20 secs.
His teammate on the other hand commented, “I struggled quite a bit, especially in Turn 1. Need to have a look but obviously I tried my best, but little bit confused about what happened to the car overnight.”
Since Friday night brought different results for the Mercedes boys, let’s see what Saturday night got in store for others?
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