Max Verstappen wins third consecutive Formula One world championship
Lewis Hamilton will be hoping to get himself on the podium at the very least after qualifying in third for the Qatar Grand Prix. The 38-year-old starts behind fellow Mercedes ace George Russell and reigning champion Max Verstappen, who wrapped up his third Drivers’ Championship title in yesterday’s sprint.
Mercedes have shown impressive pace at times throughout the weekend and will have high hopes of claiming their first win of the season at the Lusail International Circuit. However, they will need to play the team game to stand the best chance of stopping Verstappen from cruising off into the distance.
Red Bull, meanwhile, have been found guilty by the FIA of assembling too much of Sergio Perez’s spare chassis after his crash in yesterday’s sprint. It will see the Mexican driver forced to start from the pit lane in yet another blow following his early sprint retirement less than 24 hours ago.
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What happened in qualifying?
Max Verstappen managed to claim pole position in qualifying on Friday, with Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri coming home in second and third respectively.
However, both McLaren drivers saw their best lap times deleted for exceeding track limits and were replaced in the top three by George Russell and Lewis Hamilton.
Sergio Perez endured another tough session as he was knocked out in Q2 yet again to increase the growing pressure on his shoulders.
Carlos Sainz also failed to make the top ten in a poor showing from the Spaniard, although Charles Leclerc will be hoping to lead Ferrari’s podium charge today from fifth on the grid.
Catch up on the full story from qualifying HERE.
Mandatory tyre limits
The FIA have said that all drivers must not exceed 18 laps on a set of tyres or risk being disqualified from today’s race.
It means that every driver on the grid will need to make three pit stops in order to avoid being black-flagged.
Tyre degradation has been a hot topic over the course of the weekend, with Pirelli having raised concerns about potential safety issues before yesterday’s sprint.
They found a microscopic separation in the sidewall between the topping compound and the carcass cords after FP1 on Friday, with the raised kerbs in Qatar causing a greater impact than usual.
Perez starts from pit lane
Sergio Perez is set to start from the pit lane after Red Bull were found to have assembled too much of his spare chassis overnight.
The Mexican driver’s car was damaged beyond repair when he crashed out of yesterday’s sprint.
Sainz out with mechanical issue
Carlos Sainz will not start today’s race due to a fuel system issue on his Ferrari car.
The Spaniard was due to start from 12th on the grid but will instead be watching the action from the pit lane.
Hello and welcome to Express Sport‘s live coverage of the Qatar Grand Prix, with Max Verstappen set to line up on pole position.
The Dutchman wrapped up his third Drivers’ Championship title yesterday but will be looking to make it a perfect weekend by taking victory at the end of today’s 57-lap contest.
He will be closely followed off the line by George Russell and Lewis Hamilton, with Mercedes hoping to put a dampener on Red Bull’s title celebrations.
We’ll be keeping you updated with the action as it happens at the Lusail International Circuit. Who will come out on top?
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