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Lewis Hamilton takes pole position at the Qatar Grand Prix

2 Mins read
Credit: LAT Images/DaimlerAG Archive

Lewis Hamilton clinched pole position at the Qatar Grand Prix at the twentieth race of the 2021 FIA Formula 1 World Championship.

Max Verstappen was in second position, 0.455 seconds slower than Hamilton. Valtteri Bottas was in third position behind the Dutchman.

The qualifying session started under the lights with air temperatures at 26 degrees C and track temperatures at 29 degrees C at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar.

The Pirelli tyre choice at this race is the white-striped hard compound tyres (C1), yellow-striped medium compound tyres (C2), and red-striped soft compound tyres (C3).

Q1: Räikkönen and Giovinazzi Eliminated

The two Uralkali Haas F1 Team drivers, Nikita Mazepin and Mick Schumacher were the first drivers on the track. Mazepin had his front-wing dragging along on his first flying lap.

Carlos Sainz was the early leader with a lap time of 1m23.323s. But Hamilton with a great first timed lap of 1m22.019s moved to the top of the time sheets, 0.215s ahead of Verstappen,

Bottas on his second run went fastest with a lap time of 1m22.016s, just 0.003s quicker than Hamilton. Then Verstappen went 0.02 seconds quicker than Bottas to take the top spot.

Charles Leclerc and Lando Norris had their track times deleted for exceeding track limits.

In the dying minutes of the session, Leclerc and Lance Stroll got themselves out of the dropzone.

Hamilton topped the session, just 0.095 secconds ahead of Verstappen. The margins were razor-thin in this qualification session.

Q1 dropzone: Kimi Räikkönen, Nicholas Latifi, Antonio Giovinazzi, Mick Schumacher, Nikita Mazepin

Q2: Pérez and Leclerc knocked out

The top drivers were out on the medium compound tyres as this is the preferred tyre to start the race.

Hamilton went fastest with a lap time of 1m21.682s ahead of Verstappen and Bottas.

Pierre Gasly on the soft compound tyres went second fastest, 0.298 seconds slower than Hamilton.

In the last two minutes of the session, Pérez and Leclerc went out on the soft compound tyres but still failed to make it out of the dropzone.

Q2 dropzone: Sergio Pérez, Lance Stroll, Charles Leclerc, Daniel Ricciardo, George Russell

Q3: Hamilton takes pole position

The last all-important twelve minutes of the top ten shootout started with pole position being contested by Hamilton, Bottas and Verstappen.

The Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team drivers were the first drivers on the track with Hamilton leading Bottas on to the track.

Hamilton took provisional pole with a lap time of 1m21.262s, 0.162 seconds ahead of Verstappen. Bottas was 0.216 seconds behind Hamilton and Gasly was in fourth position.

Hamilton went even faster on his second flying lap with a scorching lap time of 1m20.827s to take pole position.

Gasly suffered a puncture when he went over a kerb as he came up to the finishing line. Verstappen improved but was still 0.455 seconds behind Hamilton.

Top 10: Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen, Valtteri Bottas, Pierre Gasly, Fernando Alonso, Lando Norris, Carlos Sainz, Yuki Tsunoda, Esteban Ocon, Sebastian Vettel

2021 Qatar Grand Prix Qualification Results:

144Lewis HamiltonGBRMercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team1:21.9011:21.6821:20.82718
233Max VerstappenNEDRed Bull Racing1:21.9961:21.9841:21.28218
377Valtteri BottasFINMercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team1:22.0161:21.9911:21.47820
410Pierre GaslyFRAScuderia AlphaTauri Honda1:22.5351:21.7281:21.64019
514Fernando AlonsoESPAlpine F1 Team1:22.4221:21.8941:21.67018
64Lando NorrisGBRMcLaren F1 Team1:22.8391:22.2161:21.73121
755Carlos SainzESPScuderia Ferrari1:22.3041:22.2411:21.84021
822Yuki TsunodaJAPScuderia AlphaTauri Honda1:22.4581:22.0581:21.88118
931Esteban OconFRAAlpine F1 Team1:22.5651:22.0121:22.02818
105Sebastian VettelGERAston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team1:22.5491:22.1461:22.78521
1111Sergio PerezMEXRed Bull Racing1:22.3981:22.34612
1218Lance StrollCANAston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team1:22.5511:22.46015
1316Charles LeclercMONScuderia Ferrari1:22.7421:22.46315
143Daniel RicciardoAUSMcLaren F1 Team1:22.6881:22.59715
1563George RussellGBRWilliams Racing1:22.8631:22.75616
167Kimi RäikkönenFINAlfa Romeo Racing ORLEN1:23.1569
176Nicholas LatifiCANWilliams Racing1:23.21310
1899Antonio GiovinazziITAAlfa Romeo Racing ORLEN1:23.2628
1947Mick SchumacherGERUralkali Haas F1 Team1:23.4079
209Nikita MazepinRAFUralkali Haas F1 Team1:25.8599
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