Lewis Hamilton's 2021 Qatar Grand Prix helmet

2021 Qatar Grand Prix grid

2021 Qatar Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton has taken pole position for the Bahrain Grand Prix. Pierre Gasly will start alongside him.

Row 11. Lewis Hamilton 1’20.827
2. Pierre Gasly 1’21.640
Row 23. Fernando Alonso 1’21.670
4. Lando Norris 1’21.731
Row 35. Carlos Sainz Jnr 1’21.840
6. Valtteri Bottas 1’21.478
Row 47. Max Verstappen 1’21.282
Red Bull
8. Yuki Tsunoda 1’21.881
Row 59. Esteban Ocon 1’22.028
10. Sebastian Vettel 1’22.785
Aston Martin
Row 611. Sergio Perez 1’22.346
Red Bull
12. Lance Stroll 1’22.460
Aston Martin
Row 713. Charles Leclerc 1’22.463
14. Daniel Ricciardo 1’22.597
Row 815. George Russell 1’22.756
16. Kimi Raikkonen 1’23.156
Alfa Romeo
Row 917. Nicholas Latifi 1’23.213
18. Antonio Giovinazzi 1’23.262
Alfa Romeo
Row 1019. Mick Schumacher 1’23.407
20. Nikita Mazepin 1’25.859


Max Verstappen – Five-place grid drop for yellow flag infringement
Valtteri Bottas – Three-place grid drop for yellow flag infringement

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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50 comments on “2021 Qatar Grand Prix grid”

  1. Perez 11th! Oh come on!!!
    And Gasly’s puncture might have saved Verstappen because Bottas would have demoted him to P3.

    1. Third might be a better place to start than second here anyway.

    2. Bottas was already slower in the second sector

    3. not good for Max on the glass grip side on the staring grid, with no real support races or racing in general the grip off the racing line in P2 is going to be a huge problem, also he is close to pit exist so even less grip and junk if he wants a drag race with Lewis.

      To add even more the RBs have issues starting with gearbox sync issues as seen in Brazil sprint when the cars sit too long on the grid due to the back of the pack being too slow to take last positions causing the gearbox to cook which will expose Max to a T1 attack form BOT!

      Max should try to cut onto the racing line asap and not try to drag race into T1 because the run is too short (plus above issues) so defending against BOT who starts on the grippy racing is more important unless Max plans a desperate late brake divebomb to force Lewis wide and/or make contact.

    4. @omarr-pepper

      Gasly’s puncture might have saved Verstappen

      Not so much as it turned out…

  2. Woof almost 0.5… Where did Mercedes find all that time in the last three races… Bit fishy if you ask me.
    Bottas under delivered and Max overdelivered, thankfully.
    Max battle tomorrow is to stay second. Alpha Tauri looking good, Gasly great job as usual.

    1. It is the tracks and conditions. Mercedes has straight line speed so tracks that have fewer right turns give them speed. RB have cornering so tracks with many tight corners give them speed.

    2. Bottas in 3rd did great!!!

      It means Max is on the dirty side of the track, importantly, he wont have anyone to slipstream behind.
      The only question is whether he’ll do anythng STUPID like late break into that firt corner.

      Hamilton again giving everyone else a master class on a track that’s new to him. Its all to play for
      If Mercedes can finish 1/2 it would be a record for the most podiums by the same pair of drivers at 59,
      importantly it would take more points off Verstappen.

      1. firt corner = first corner

    3. Sikhumbuzo Khumalo
      20th November 2021, 15:16

      I should go fishing sometime. It’s been a long time. Hey we just don’t like the pace so yeah it’s fishy.

    4. its the tyres ever since Silverstone

  3. This Hamilton guy is useless! All the car etc etc ad nauseam. Going to be a great race to the first corner. Bottas… buck up!

    1. Sikhumbuzo Khumalo
      20th November 2021, 15:17

      I’d love to see Bottas squeezing Max off the track by literally driving him off just to see what Christian Horner would say.

      1. Like in Hungary?

        1. No that wasn’t driving of the track, but into cars wasn’t it?!

  4. Sainz & Gasly were lucky, but what a lap by Hamilton.

  5. If only Red Bull had someone like Gasly as their other driver.

    1. He would be hung out to dry like every other RB driver since RIC. RB is fully built around Verstappen at the moment (which is understandable) and any driver coming in as his team mate will need to drive a car that suits Verstappens blindingly fast, but unusual driving style. Gasly should jump the RB ship as there is no hope of a fair ride for him.

    2. I admire what Gasly is doing at AT and I think he’d be better at Red Bull than in his first stint there. But Max would still skin him alive. I’m not sure why some people still don’t see that Max is one of those incredible talents that show up once in a while and being his teammate as long as he is fit is an exercise in futility.

      1. Yeah, Gasly is in a great place right now, let’s keep him there I agree Emma, but there’s indeed little to indicate that Verstappen wouldn’t still smoke him most of the time in the Red Bull.

        I do find it interesting in that respect how Sainz now, after lagging a bit in getting everything out of the car, now has been showing Leclerc up these last few races (and Leclerc showed in F2/GP2 as well as in 2019 just how good he was in a good car); Sainz the only one so far who was able to compete with VER to some extent (yes, 1st season, lots of details, but even so). Maybe he’s the one Red Bull really shouldn’t have let go.

        1. RandomMallard (@)
          20th November 2021, 16:19

          @bosyber I’ve been quietly impressed with Sainz all season long actually. I think of all the drivers to change teams last season, he’s adapted the best. He’s scored in all but 2 races this season (and they were both 11th place finishes), as well as taking 3 podiums. Leclerc has 1 podium but more high scoring non-podium positions, but I really feel his consistency has hurt him a bit this year. He really struggled in France, and then obviously there was Monaco, and then he got unlucky in Hungary and then pitted too late for inters in Russia (although his drive from 19th to the lower end of the points was pretty good). As a result, Sainz is only 8.5 points behind Leclerc in his first season at the team. Pretty impressive if you ask me. And to a point I agree that RB shouldn’t have let him go, but I also think he’s thriving outside the high pressure RB environment as well, so I don’t think it’s worked out too badly for him.

          1. Yep, have to agree @randommallard, Sainz is having a good season; not as obvious as Gasly, but then again he is up against incumbent Leclerc, not rookie Tsunoda; but like Gasly, might well be he wouldn’t be the drivers he is today had he been in the Red Bull.

        2. What about RIC?

          1. RIC is the best team mate you could ever ask for at RB, he was on the same level as Max but pushed out because RB owner sees Max as his personal wunderkind and only wants mediocre number two drivers who cant challenge his favorite driver.

            Gasly is overrated as shown when he was destroyed by Max at RB, only reason he is performing now is because the team is built around him and Tsunoda is discarded as an afterthought by the Italians shoved into the corner using him only to get free Honda engines.

            Albon “they race me too hard” is a fraud, hes only there due to red bull ceo Dietrich Mateschitz paying back a favor to Thai Royalty/State who helped fund his start up soft drink business.
            The fact he changed his nationality representation to Thailand to get Thai funding his Motorsports career when he is UK born, raised, educated , brought into motorsport by his ex tin top racer UK born father says to you he is just used as a “nation branding” tool by Thai state plus Red bull corporate.

            Perez is a joke, only in F1 due to carlos slims billions(Remember when Kamui Kobayoshi matched him at Sauber yet lost seat because lack of funding?) and his marketability to the huge “la raza” Hispanic market.
            I hate how he is always treated with kid gloves, notice how he never gets criticized for P13 quali but if BOT was that far back people would call for the electric chair!

    3. I hope Gasly find a different path apart from the RedBull system, honestly. The kid is seriously fast but RBR seems particularly skilled at destroying the careers of their second drivers. Checo better be careful or very soon RBR’s heads will blame Checo if Max fails to be champ.

  6. The Gasly incident has to be a concern. Seems like such a fine line between breaking a wing and not when going over that kerb.

    Really interested to see the race in action, just looks relentlessly fast the entire way around. Must be intense!

    1. Good point, I can see those kerbs eating a few more tires and front wings…

      The clearner drivers should be ok, but those taking liberties will eventually play.

    2. RandomMallard (@)
      20th November 2021, 15:25

      @davidhunter13 I have a hunch it’ll be similar to Mugello. Very little overtaking other than along the straight. I’m still looking forward to it though, more to see what it’s actually like than expecting it to be good

      1. Good points @davidhunter13 and @randommallard; I think it will either be little overtaking, or a lot of (V)SC and then teams telling drivers to keep it off the curbs (even more than they will probably already be telling their drivers after today!).

  7. It’s all going to happen into turn 1 tomorrow. I can see Hamilton staying on the inside and running Max off should Max get a run on him, also Hamilton’s post qualifying comments about how ‘wide’ it is there. It reminds me of Senna Prost in 1990 I have to admit. Let’s see what happens.

    1. Nah, Hamilton has the Championship now, he’ll not take risks

    2. RandomMallard (@)
      20th November 2021, 15:18

      @john-h With pole being on the outside, and with the starts the person in second has made in all of the last 4 races being better than the pole sitter’s, I’m more concerned it’ll be Max on the inside again.

    3. Yup, and for once it might happen that car 44 gets binned while 33 can go on and win. We’ve seen the opposite way too many times

      1. This would result in a 39 points advantage for Max (give or take one for the FLAP) pretty good for the WDC (just one 3rd would clinch it)

        So, you bane of the princess’ dresses for boys, go for it!

        1. Sorry, what?

          1. RandomMallard (@)
            21st November 2021, 10:59

            @john-h In trying to report the original comment for that last sentence being hugely unnecessary, I accidentally reported yours. Very sorry for that.

        2. RandomMallard (@)
          20th November 2021, 16:08

          That’s just unnecessary.

          1. On the contrary, people need to be reminded. See just above

          2. RandomMallard (@)
            21st November 2021, 10:58

            hyoko I have no significant problems with the first part of your comment.

            But the final sentence, bringing up something that happened years ago and that Lewis has profoundly apologised for? That’s what I find unnecessary.

        3. lexusreliability?
          20th November 2021, 16:53


          Counting your eggs before they hatch I see.

        4. Right ee oh sunshine! 👍

  8. Kimberley Barrass
    20th November 2021, 15:14

    I love to see a great quali lap on a fast track – and that certainly flowed!

    1. I always love seeing them under the lights, too. Really brings out the contours of the cars.

  9. Bottas was already slower in the second sector

    1. I think Bottas did what he needed to do. Possibly under team orders to plant Verstappen on the dirty side of the track and denigh him the slipstream into the first corner. If bottas can behind Hamilton can follow him through it would be the ideal start.

      The only other point to note is the RB #2 starting much further back, who’ll possibly be in the window when it come to their first pit stops. If he drives long, he could end up as a bottleneck for the lead cars pitting before him. This track will be very difficult to over take on.

  10. Superb quali for Alonso, one of his best maybe since 2017. The guy is putting to rest those speculations that he lost one or two tenths in raw speed. Still not 100% over one-lap unlike in long runs, of course, but he’s already very close.

  11. RandomMallard (@)
    20th November 2021, 15:23

    That sounded (from the radio) like a hell of a lap from Lewis.

    Disappointing for Perez as well and I’m sure Bottas is pretty disappointed he didn’t get onto the front row but it may play into his/mercs hands. It’s a fairly long way into T1 (not Barcelona, Russia or Mexico, but substantial nonetheless), so if Merc play it right I reckon they could really pressure Max. Will be interesting to see Max’s response if that’s the case.

    But Lewis is in some of the best form of his career at the minute, and it shows. 25 places over 1 and 1/3 races and on pole at the next race by the best part of half a second, and 6 and a half tenths up on his team mate. Insane

  12. Somewhat odd result for the two teams fighting to be the least bad team; Ferrari lines up 7th and 13th while their rivals McLaren’s start 6th and 14th. Hopefully Sainz and Norris can keep out of each others way this time, and at this track Leclerc will probably have to rely on making the strategy work to get into the points.

    Pérez’ lack of pace again leaves Verstappen to fight two Mercedes on his own, not a good situation for Red Bull.

  13. Christopher Avis
    20th November 2021, 20:44

    Why is gasly looking to help red bull as much as he can, he is not in a red bull and is not supposed to be trying to assist them! You are only allowed 2 drivers and cars, red bull seem to have 4 ! That cant be rite.

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