Max Verstappen had to concede more than four tenths to Lewis Hamilton. With that he finished in second position, which means that there are still plenty of opportunities during the race.
It is not often that Red Bull hands out a compliment to Mercedes, or vice versa. After qualifying in Qatar, Christian Horner congratulated rival Lewis Hamilton on his impressive pole lap.
Team boss Christian Horner praised Hamilton’s lap afterwards: “Lewis drove a great lap and was very fast. Max is on the front row, but it was a shame that we lost Checo in Q2. We are disappointed that he didn’t make it to Q3, but that Max on the front row – in front of Valttteri Bottas – gives us a chance in the run to the first corner.”
Mercedes loses advantage on straights
Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff called out that Red Bull had more speed on the straights than before, but Horner does not share that view. According to him, Mercedes has lost the magical straight-line speed. Precisely during the weekend when Mercedes made adjustments to the much-discussed rear wing.
“I think they’ve lost straight line speed and we’re about the same speed now. That’s good to see. Lewis won all his time in turns 6 and 7, especially on that last lap. He had a great pace in those two corners. Just a great lap from Lewis.”
On Sunday, Hamilton and Verstappen will share the front row of the grid, with Bottas and Pierre Gasly directly behind. Because overtaking is difficult on the Losail International Circuit, the start becomes very important.