Lewis Hamilton secured the coveted pole position for the Qatar Grand Prix on Saturday. Max Verstappen and Valtteri Bottas qualified second and third respectively. However, there are grid penalties looming, so it remains to be seen whether the gentlemen can keep their starting spots.
The Losail International Circuit is one of the newest additions to the Formula 1 calendar. The circuit is about 5.38 kilometers in total and has 16 corners, most of which are very fast. In addition, there is one long straight of more than a kilometer long, where you can also find the only DRS zone of the track. The Losail International Circuit has been used in MotoGP since 2014 and receives rave reviews there. The Formula 1 drivers were therefore wildly enthusiastic to get started in Qatar.
The Mercedes team has been really strong in Qatar all weekend. Verstappen was fastest during the first free practice, but in the sessions after that he really had to acknowledge his superiority in the Mercedes team. On Saturday afternoon Hamilton managed to dominate pole position, while title competitor Verstappen did not get further than P2. Bottas took third place on the grid and is therefore allowed to start behind his teammate.
Possible grid penalties
After qualifying, the FIA announced that Bottas, Verstappen and Carlos Sainz must report to race management on Sunday. Bottas and Sainz are suspected of disrespecting the single yellow flag, for which they could receive a three-place grid penalty and two penalty points. Verstappen, in turn, is accused of not respecting the double yellow flag, which could earn him a five-place grid penalty and three penalty points. So it could just be that our top ten will look very different at 15:00 the result of the qualification.
View the full provisional starting grid below.