Max Verstappen Wastes No Time in Qatar with Grand Prix Pole
After topping the table in FP1 Max Verstappen ran 5 tenths faster than George Russell in qualifying for the Qatar Grand Prix today at Lusail. In third was 7 time champion Lewis Hamilton who has a chance to salvage second place in the drivers championship this year. Verstappen only needs 3 points to clinch the 2023 Drivers Championship this weekend. However he will first have to contend with the sprint shootout and sprint race on Saturday to determine if the Grand Prix result will have any bearing. Verstappen had the following words after Qualifying, “Great start to the weekend. It’s quite tricky out there, but I’m very happy to be on pole, it’s been a good day for us. Let’s make sure tomorrow we have a good day as well.”
Sergio Perez Loses Out in Qualifying, Again
Unfortunately for Verstappen’s teammate Sergio Perez. The risk to his second place position in the drivers championship continues to be threatened. The track conditions were variable at Lusail with large amounts of dust and sand blowing on to the track creating inconsistent contact patches throughout the circuit. While most of the drivers seemed to contend with these conditions Sergio Perez didn’t do himself any favors in qualifying. Perez finished in a very underwhelming P13. Perez only holds a 33 point lead in the championship over Lewis Hamilton in the battle for second place. Starting from P13 will be a huge uphill battle for Perez to salvage anything this weekend. This may end up being a damage control weekend if he can’t pull a miracle on Sunday.
Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) ran fifth fastest behind a hungry Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin) who will be looking to return to podium finishing ways as he closes out the season. Alpine secure a double Q3 finish. A feat that hasn’t come often this season. McLaren also secured a double Q3 finish with Oscar Piastri P6 and Lando Norris P10 claiming the last spot.
Full Qatar Grand Prix Qualifying Results Below
|Position||Driver||Car / Engine||Time||Gap|
|1||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Honda RBPT||1’23.778|
|4||Fernando Alonso||Aston Martin/Mercedes||1’24.369||0.591|
|9||Valtteri Bottas||Alfa Romeo/Ferrari||1’25.058||1.280|
|11||Yuki Tsunoda||AlphaTauri/Honda RBPT||1’25.301||1.523|
|12||Carlos Sainz Jr.||Ferrari||1’25.328||1.550|
|13||Sergio Pérez||Red Bull/Honda RBPT||1’25.462||1.684|
|17||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin/Mercedes||1’26.345||2.567|
|18||Liam Lawson||AlphaTauri/Honda RBPT||1’26.635||2.857|
|20||Zhou Guanyu||Alfa Romeo/Ferrari||1’27.432||3.654|