Oscar Piastri led a McLaren 1-2 in F1 Qatar GP sprint qualifying with Lando Norris slotting in second ahead of Max Verstappen.
The first part in F1 Qatar GP sprint qualifying kicked-off after a 10 minutes familiarisation session after changes made at Turn 12, Turn 13 and Turn 14 after investigation undertaken by Pirelli. The track limits still played a big role as drivers continued to go off.
It was Mercedes’ George Russell on top with a 1m25.413s lap ahead of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and McLaren’s Lando Norris. For a brief moment, Alfa Romeo’s Zhou Guanyu was knocked out in SQ1, but a lap deletion for AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda helped him in.
The Japanese driver was 18th after a 1m26.926s lap with Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll (1m26.849s) out again in 16th ahead of Williams’ Alexander Albon (1m26.862s) where the Thai also had his lap time deleted to drop back helping the Canadian to jump ahead.
Haas’ Kevin Magnussen (1m27.438s) was 19th with his lap deleted too along with Williams’ Logan Sargeant, who did not get a lap time in after all his quick laps got deleted. Everyone were on the medium tyres as mandated to be done so in sprint format.
The second part in F1 Qatar GP sprint qualifying saw further track limits dramas as Norris set the pace with a 1m24.947s lap ahead of Russell and Red Bull’s Sergio Perez in the Top 3. The big drop came for Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton after lap deletion.
He ended up 12th after his 1m25.962s lap behind Alpine’s Pierre Gasly (1m25.686s) as Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas (1m26.236s) in 13th from AlphaTauri’s Liam Lawson (1m26.041s) and Alfa Romeo’s Zhou Guanyu where all three had their lap times deleted too and the Chinese racer having no time set.
The final part in F1 Qatar GP sprint qualifying saw early lap deletion for Verstappen as Norris took the top spot after setting a 1m24.536s lap from teammate Oscar Piastri by 0.039s. It was Perez in third after the first run was completed.
The second run saw Verstappen end up only third with a 1m24.646s lap as it left McLaren with a 1-2 finish. It was Piastri to secure the F1 Qatar GP sprint qualifying pole with a 1m24.454s lap after Norris (1m24.536s) went off in the final corner to be second.
With Verstappen in third, Mercedes’ George Russell (1m24.841s) slotted in fourth from the Ferrari pair of Carlos Sainz (1m25.155s) and Charles Leclerc (1m25.247s) where Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso had his lap time deleted from fifth.
Haas’ Nico Hulkenberg (1m25.320s) was seventh ahead of Perez (1m25.382s), while Alonso and Alpine’s Esteban Ocon rounded the Top 10 but with no lap time.
Here’s the FIA decision on tyres
Here’s what was said after Friday in F1 Qatar GP
Here’s how F1 Qatar GP qualifying panned out