Hamilton takes pole position in Qatar as Perez fails to make it out of Q2

20-11-2021 14:18
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Hamilton takes pole position in Qatar as Perez fails to make it out of Q2

Lewis Hamilton took pole position for the first ever Formula 1 Qatar Grand Prix, as he led from Max Verstappen and Valtteri Bottas. Sergio Perez was the big loser in qualifying as he failed to make it out of Q2 on soft tyres.

The Brit took a much need pole position, topping every qualifying session as well in the process, as he looks to close the gap to his title rival Max Verstappen. He was the only driver to go sub 1:21, with a 1:20.827, a whopping 0.455 clear of Verstappen in second. Valtteri Bottas will start the race third over half a second back. 

The final runs in Q3 were disrupted by a puncture for Pierre Gasly depsite the Frenchman qualifying fourth. A concern for Pirelli ahead of the race tomorrow. It was a good day for Alpine as they both made it to Q3 qualifying fifth and ninth respectively. 

Lando Norris, Carlos Sainz, Yuki Tsunoda and Sebastian Vettel completed the top ten for Sunday's grid.

Sergio Perez was unable to make it out of Q2, which will be a huge blow for Red Bull, not only in their bid for the Constructors' Championship, but it leaves Verstappen in a Mercedes sandwich, with his teammate nowhere to be seen.

Q1 - Hamilton leads the way 

Lewis Hamilton topped the first qualifying stint with a time of 1:21.901, just ahead of Max Verstappen in P2. Mercedes led the early stages before Max Verstappen hit back, but Hamilton's final flying lap of Q1 saw him go to the top. 

Nikita Mazepin and Mick Schumacher were in familiar surroundings, finishing 20th and 19th respectively, with Antonio Giovinazzi, Nicholas Latifi and Kimi Raikkonen the other three drivers eliminated in Q1. George Russell just scraped through in 15th, his time had seen him as high as tenth before other drivers came through. 

Q2 - Perez fails to make it to Q3

It was as expected at the top as Hamilton made it through on the medium tyres, the compound he'll now start the race on, but Red Bull were dealt a considerable blow as Sergio Perez failed to make it to the top ten shootout. Not only will it be a blow to his support of Verstappen but it could affect their point haul in the Constructors' Championship. 

Carlos Sainz got through for Ferrari but Charles Leclerc failed to make it out of Q2, meaning the battle with McLaren is finely poised. George Russell, Lance Stroll and Daniel Ricciardo were the other drivers eliminated in Q2.

Q3 - takes pole

Lewis Hamilton set the standard in the opening runs of Q3 with a 1:21.262 with Max Verstappen 0.162 down on his title rival. 

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