F1 Grand Prix qualifying results: Hamilton takes Qatar pole – Motorsport.com

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.
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.
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).
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.
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).
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