Piastri is the fastest in qualifying for the sprint race in Qatar, Verstappen P3

McLaren will start on the front row later today

It is not yet the FIA weekend. Yesterday there was a lot of fuss about who finished third in qualifying. First it seemed to be Norris, then Piastri and later Hamilton appeared to have finished P3. The confusion was due to track limits. Before the Sprint Shootout, the qualification for the sprint race, the race management must take measures in Qatar.

According to Pirelli, the tires cannot handle the pyramid-shaped curbs in Doha. Pirelli and the FIA predict damage to the circumference of the tires when driving several laps in a row. To solve this, the track limits have been adjusted between turns 12 and 13. The curve has been turned inward.

To prepare the drivers for this, we will have an extra free practice of 10 minutes prior to qualifying for the sprint race. If the problems do not disappear after today, the FIA and Pirelli want to take drastic action before the race. Under the intended measure, drivers are allowed to drive a maximum of twenty laps in a row. Each driver must also make three pit stops. Whether the measure will be implemented depends on how the tires react to the 'new' circuit.


It all looks a bit crazy, but after an ultra-short training - in which Verstappen is the fastest - we can start with the Sprint Shootout. All drivers drive on medium tires in the first part. On this rubber, George Russell is the fastest, followed by Verstappen at 0.097 seconds. The dropouts are Stroll, Albon, Tsunoda, Magnussen and Sargeant.

George Russell tops SQ1, as 15 drivers remain vying for pole position! 👀Next up, SQ2 ⏱️ #QatarGP #F1 pic.twitter.com/1rJGqsEPTe

— Formula 1 (@F1) October 7, 2023 ## SQ2

Fifteen drivers remain who will battle for the top ten. Just like yesterday, the FIA's reports about track limits are flying through the screen. Most lane violations are committed in the rerouted turn 13. Max Verstappen calls it quits after one lap. He finishes third in SQ2. Lewis Hamilton sees his fastest time end in the trash due to, yes, track limits.

Hamilton will have to start twelfth later today, while he finished third yesterday. Esteban Oocn pushes his teammate out of the top ten by being 0.011 seconds faster. Further good news at Red Bull Racing. Sergio Pérez actually makes it to the last part of qualifying for the sprint race in Qatar. Nice work, Checo! Nico Hülkenberg also reaches SQ3, which is seriously a great achievement.

Lewis Hamilton is OUT of the Sprint Shootout after having a lap time deleted due to track limits ❌ #QatarGP #F1 pic.twitter.com/KYoKv5N8k0

— Formula 1 (@F1) October 7, 2023 ## SQ3

The last ten drivers have eight minutes to set a lap time. The target? Pole position for the sprint race later today (7 p.m. Dutch time). This time the drivers drive on the soft tires. Verstappen crosses the line first, but his lap is taken away. "Are you sure?", the driver asks his team, but they order Verstappen to assume that the lap time is gone.

Norris is the fastest in Verstappen's absence. He is even faster than the removed time of the Red Bull driver. At the end, Verstappen makes another attempt at pole for the sprint race. He is one tenth short and comes third. Piastri takes advantage of a mistake by Norris and takes pole position for the sprint race. Pérez does not get further than ninth place. Verstappen can already put the champagne cold.

OSCAR PIASTRI TAKES POLE FOR F1 SPRINT! 🙌An outstanding lap by the @McLarenF1 rookie driver who pips team mate Lando Norris to the top spot 👏What a superb performance by the Aussie driver!!! #QatarGP #F1 pic.twitter.com/sgr23kbY1V

— Formula 1 (@F1) October 7, 2023 ## Qualifying results for the sprint race in Qatar

Piastri Norris Verstappen Russell Alonso Sainz Leclerc Hülkenberg Pérez Ocon Gasly Hamilton Bottas Lawson Zhou Stroll Albon Tsunoda Magnussen Sargeant ## What time does F1 start in Qatar?

Saturday Sprint Race: 7:30 PM – 8:30 PM

Sunday Race: 7:00 PM