Event: Qatar F1 Grand Prix
Track: Losail International Circuit

Warm-up lap starts at: 17:00 Local | 15:00 CET | 14:00 UK | 06:00 LA | 22:00 Tokio

Lewis Hamilton did everything he could to try and get the upper hand on his title rival Max Verstappen during qualifying today and managed to start from pole for the 4th time this season. Hamilton must have pushed everything out of the W12 as he was over 0.6 sec. faster than his teammate Valtteri Bottas.

F1 Starting Grid 2021 Qatar GP

PosNoDriverTeamLap TimePole gapTyres
144Lewis HamiltonMercedes1:20,827M
210Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri1:21,640+0,813sS
314Fernando AlonsoAlpine1:21,670+0,843sS
44Lando NorrisMcLaren1:21,731+0,904sS
555Carlos SainzFerrari1:21,840+1,013sM
677*Valtteri BottasMercedes1:21,478+0,651sM
733*Max VerstappenRed Bull1:21,424+0,597sM
822Yuki TsunodaAlphaTauri1:21,881+1,054sS
931Esteban OconAlpine1:22,028+1,201sS
105Sebastian VettelAston Martin1:22,785+1,958sS
1111Sergio PérezRed Bull1:22,346+1,519sFree
1218Lance StrollAston Martin1:22,460+1,633sFree
1316Charles LeclercFerrari1:22,463+1,636sFree
143Daniel RicciardoMcLaren1:22,597+1,770sFree
1563George RussellWilliams1:22,756+1,929sFree
167Kimi RäikkönenAlfa Romeo1:23,156+2,329sFree
176Nicholas LatifiWilliams1:23,213+2,386sFree
1899Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo1:23,262+2,435sFree
1947Mick SchumacherHaas1:23,407+2,580sFree
209Nikita MazepinHaas1:25,859+5,032sFree


  • Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes (no.77) - 3 places grid penalty - Failing to respect single yellow flags
  • Max Verstappen, Red Bull (no.33) - 5 places grid penalty - Failing to respect double yellow flags

Possible 2021 Qatar F1 GP Race Strategies

The optimal strategy for the 57-lap Qatar Grand Prix should be a two-stopper. The best tactic on paper would involve one stint on the P Zero Yellow medium C2 tyre followed by a stint on the P Zero White hard C1 and a final stint on the medium again.

Close to that is another two-stopper, but this time with one stint on P Zero Red soft C3 followed by two stints on the mediums.

All three compounds could also be used in alternative two-stopper (maybe starting on the medium and running the hard in the middle before moving to the soft for the final part of the race) but this is likely to be slower. As always, all these stints could be run in any order.

With Losail being a brand new venue, there hasn't been an ample bank of data gained in free practice – with two of the sessions not held in representative conditions anyway.

As a result, the teams certainly haven't yet seen the full picture, and there could still be some surprises, particularly if track temperatures are lower. A one-stopper is still not advised though, just because tyre wear appears to be quite high.

F1 Starting Grid 2021 Qatar Grand Prix

4 Topics to focus on during the 2021 Qatar F1 GP

  1. Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton claimed a spectacular pole on the P Zero Red soft C3: the only driver to get into the 1m20s bracket, with a time that was a full two seconds quicker than the simulated pole position benchmark.
  2. All the drivers used only the soft tyre in Q1, with the exception of AlphaTauri's Pierre Gasly, who used just the P Zero Yellow medium. In Q2 – which determines the starting tyres for the grand prix – both Mercedes drivers, the Red Bull of Verstappen, and Ferrari's Carlos Sainz set their best times on the medium (although a total of eight drivers attempted to do so). This means that of the top 10 qualifiers, six will be starting on the soft – all outside the front row.
  3. The circuit is smoother than expected but still with a good level of grip, featuring a massive track evolution during each session. That's also why Hamilton was faster in Q2 with the medium tyre than he was in Q1 with the soft, before improving again with the soft in Q3.
  4. Temperatures stayed consistent at around 26 degrees centigrade ambient and 28 degrees on track throughout qualifying, with similar conditions expected for tomorrow's race.

Mario Isola - Pirelli's Head of F1 & Car Racing: "Track evolution remained high today, also with no support races on the schedule, which meant that we saw the fastest times right at the end of qualifying, and some medium tyre times in Q2 that were faster than the soft tyre times in Q1.

With just short stints in qualifying, and FP3 this morning taking place in the heat of the day (with a focus on qualifying) the teams can only rely on FP2 for relevant long-run information, which is crucial when it comes to formulating the strategy.

Under these challenging circumstances they will want to keep their options as open as possible, which is why the championship contenders chose to start on the medium tyre. However, as Q2 showed, it wasn't easy to get through the session on the medium, so we're set for an interesting mix of strategies tomorrow with many factors still relatively unknown."

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2 F1 Fan comments on “F1 Starting Grid 2021 Qatar Grand Prix

  1. shroppyfly

    Toto is full of it AGAIN

    “That can obviously lead to quite some dirtier driving going forward, and what I said to some of the stakeholders was we don’t want to have a messy situation tomorrow, in Saudi Arabia, in Abu Dhabi, because that would be really bad.”

    WTF is he doing talking about/trying to influence things with the "owners of f1"/or whoever, just stirring the pot that's what., better off just flooding the stewards with emails .

    And -“I think there is a little too much focus and emphasis on politics and off-track trash talk. I think we need to concentrate on track,” he stated.

    Fair play Torger but its fine for you, to F**k speak on the open radio channel, what a trash clown lol

    • ReallyOldRacer

      How about BOT's comment re his having nothing to lose when asked about his turn #1 strategy? The unfortunate thing is that both of these clown crews can't lose. Wouldn't be surprised to see a banquet boycott by the loser. And I am sick of the skyhigh crew touting the drivers' mutual respect. Either of them would pull the plug on the other in a hospital room


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