Hamilton on pole position in Qatar

The reigning world champion will start at the front on F1's debut in Qatar

2021 Qatar Grand Prix, Friday - LAT Images

Lewis Hamilton will start Formula 1’s first Qatar Grand Prix from pole position after putting in a dominant performance in qualifying at Losail.

The reigning champion appeared to be well clear of his rivals before a late puncture for Pierre Gasly saw the AlphaTauri driver grind to a halt on the start finish straight.

Nikita Mazepin came into the session short of track time after missing second practice while Haas changed his chassis, and his efforts were hindered further when his front wing broke early in the session, leaving him well adrift of his teammate’s time.

Charles Leclerc struggled in Q1, and was unable to improve as qualifying continued. He wasn’t the only surprise casualty in Q2 though as Sergio Perez just missed out on a spot in the top 10.

Hamilton appeared to have the edge in Q3, initially going to the top of the timesheets after the first runs, before improving his time again on his second stint.

Max Verstappen and Valtteri Bottas were both pushing behind, but Gasly broke his front wing and punctured a tyre after running wide, leaving the pair unable to improve.

Provisional qualifying result:

1 Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

2. Max Verstappen (Red Bull)

3. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes)

4. Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri)

5. Fernando Alonso (Alpine)

6. Lando Norris (McLaren)

7. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari)

8. Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri)

9. Esteban Ocon (Alpine)

10. Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin)

11. Sergio Perez (Red Bull)

12. Lance Stroll (Aston Martin)

13. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)

14. Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren)

15. George Russell (Williams)

16. Kimi Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo)

17. Nicholas Latifi (Williams)

18. Antonio Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo)

19. Mick Schumacher (Haas)

20. Nikita Mazepin (Haas)

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