Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was fastest in FP1 of F1 Qatar GP from AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly and Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas on a dusty track.
With qualifying and race to take place under floodlights, the FP1 session in F1 Qatar GP was not that useful but considering it is their first time on the circuit, any amount of mileage was useful for everyone on the grid to understand.
It wasn’t smooth certainly as drivers fought through to find the limit. There were multiple offs which caused damage to the cars, especially for Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and McLaren’s Lando Norris with parts flying around for many others.
With the abrasive surface, they had the hardest three tyres and were put in use by everyone. Even though there’s more time to be found, Red Bull’s Verstappen ended up fastest in FP1 of F1 Qatar GP with a 1m23.723s lap.
He led the two Mercedes drivers until AlphaTauri’s Gasly improved with a late 1m24.160s lap to end up second ahead of Bottas (1m24.194s) and Hamilton (1m24.509s). The other AlphaTauri of Yuki Tsunoda (1m24.648s) was fifth in a good show.
The Japanese did have his moments including a grass one to avoid a Ferrari on the main straight, who were sixth and seventh with Carlos Sainz (1m24.713s) ahead of Charles Leclerc (1m24.790s). It wasn’t a smooth run for the Spaniard as well.
Red Bull’s Sergio Perez (1m24.915s) was eighth with Alpine’s Esteban Ocon (1m24.972s) ninth and McLaren’s Norris (1m25.215s) 10th where the latter duo set their best on the medium compound. The Brit did get few laps in after getting his floor fixed.
Teammate Daniel Ricciardo was 11th ahead of Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel who faced multiple lose bits on his car throughout the session. Williams’ Nicholas Latifi had a good run in 13th from Alfa Romeo pair in 14th and 15th, respectively.
It was Antonio Giovinazzi leading Kimi Raikkonen where both had heavy moments, with Williams’ George Russell in 17th ahead of Alpine’s Fernando Alonso, Haas’ Mick Schumacher, Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll and Haas’ Nikita Mazepin.
Both Alonso and Stroll set their best on the hard tyre with the Canadian having a hydraulic issue on his side. Also, Schumacher had a gravel moment right at the end of the session but managed to pull himself out of the scene.
Here’s Lewis Hamilton’s rainbow helmet:
First look at LH’s new lid. 🌈😍 pic.twitter.com/kpS2YwkKyJ
— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) November 19, 2021
— Formula 1 (@F1) November 19, 2021