F1 Qatar Grand Prix: 6 winners and 4 losers from qualifying8 min read

Qualifying for the Qatar Grand Prix is within the books.

Who had been the large winners, and who nonetheless has some work to do in Sunday’s Grand Prix?

Let’s dive in immediately.

Winner: Max Verstappen

One other qualifying session, one other pole place. Ho hum.

Nonetheless, this offers Verstappen fairly the security internet. He wants simply three factors to clinch his third-straight title, and he can doubtless decide these up within the F1 Dash race on Saturday.

However, if one thing disastrous occurs on Saturday and he can’t come away with these wanted factors, he will likely be in nice place Sunday to get the job completed.

Loser: Liam Lawson

In what is probably going his last F1 race for the 2023 season, Liam Lawson should struggle via the sector if he’s to come back away with factors.

Lawson managed only a P18 in qualifying on Friday, behind teammate Yuki Tsunoda who completed in thirteenth place to advance to Q2.

Nonetheless, Lawson ought to take coronary heart in what he has completed since changing an injured Daniel Ricciardo at AlphaTauri. Not solely has Lawson managed to safe factors inside his first few F1 begins, however he reportedly has an inside monitor to a seat in 2025, regardless of the current information he can be returning to a reserve function for 2024.

One thing tells me Friday’s qualifying session will quickly be forgotten.

Winners: Mercedes

F1 Grand Prix of Qatar - Practice & Qualifying

Photograph by Clive Rose/Getty Photos

Within the battle between Mercedes and Ferrari for second, take into account the state of play “Benefit, Mercedes.”

Carlos Sainz Jr. was eradicated in Q2, and is slated to begin the Grand Prix in thirteenth place. As for Charles Leclerc, whereas he managed to advance to Q3, he may solely handle a sixth-place end.

Then there may be the Mercedes duo. Lewis Hamilton challenged for pole, and really posted the perfect time throughout Q2. Whereas he couldn’t duplicate that in Q3, he completed fifth, after which was bumped up into P4 when Lando Norris noticed the lap that put him into P2 deleted for exceeding monitor limits.

He was then bumped up once more when Oscar Piastri noticed a lap time of his personal deleted, pushing Hamilton into P3.

As for George Russell, he’ll begin alongside Verstappen, as he completed third, and was bumped as much as second following Norris’s lap time being deleted.

There’s clearly a protracted option to go between now and the tip of the season, however with simply 20 factors separating Mercedes and Ferrari within the battle for second, each level counts. Friday’s qualifying session offers the Silver Arrows an awesome likelihood to carry — if not construct on — their present lead.

Loser: Lance Stroll

For the fourth race in a row, Lance Stroll is out in Q1.

Stroll managed only a P17 through the first portion of qualifying, and was one of many drivers who noticed a lap time deleted because of exceeding monitor limits. You could possibly additionally inform that frustration from Stroll could be boiling over. F1TV cameras caught Stroll as he climbed out of his AMR23, as he appeared to brush away a crew member as he stormed out of the storage.

Stroll is beneath an amazing quantity of stress at Aston Martin. After the staff started the yr in great style, sitting behind solely Pink Bull within the Constructors’ standings, they now discover themselves in a struggle to carry on to fourth place, with a hard-charging McLaren squad approaching quick.

As for Stroll, he has not completed within the factors for the reason that Belgian Grand Prix on the finish of July. If Aston Martin is to carry off McLaren — which seems to be like a longshot given how the 2 groups are performing in the mean time — they’ll want one thing extra from Stroll.

Winners: Alpine

This has been a tumultuous season for Alpine, each on and off the monitor, however Friday was a strong outcome for the staff. Alpine put each Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly into Q3, and they’ll see Ocon begin in P7, and Gasly in P8, within the Grand Prix on Sunday.

That provides the outfit an excellent likelihood at a double-points outcome within the Grand Prix.

Alpine definitely appears locked right into a sixth-place end within the Constructors’ Championship. They path McLaren by 88 factors within the standings, and sit 63 factors forward of Williams. However ending the season robust is atop their to-do record, and Friday’s qualifying session will go a good distance in the direction of attaining that objective.

Loser: Logan Sargeant

As the one driver nonetheless not sure of his standing for 2024, Logan Sargeant must ship for Williams down the stretch.

Nonetheless, he discovered his qualifying session come to an finish on the loss of life, with teammate Alexander Albon nipping him for the ultimate spot in Q2 simply as Q1 got here to an in depth.

Williams Workforce Principal James Vowles has preached persistence with Sargeant, together with not too long ago when he recorded a video giving the American rookie an enormous vote of confidence. Nonetheless, Vowles additionally famous that the rookie does have clear markers he must hit if he’s going to safe his seat for 2024.

One wonders if at present’s elimination in Q1 satisfies a kind of markers.

Winner: Fernando Alonso

F1 Grand Prix of Qatar - Practice & Qualifying

Photograph by Qian Jun/MB Media/Getty Photos

As issues sit proper now, if Aston Martin goes to carry off McLaren for fourth place within the Constructors’ Championship, Fernando Alonso goes to have to pull them to the end line.

Friday, then, was an excellent night time for him in Qatar.

After the laps had been completed and the mud had settled, Alonso discovered himself in P4, which supplies him an excellent likelihood at banking some much-needed factors for Aston Martin. Once you add in the truth that he’ll begin forward of each McLarens? There’s a likelihood that he truly manages to increase Aston Martin’s present benefit over McLaren on Sunday.

Saturday presents McLaren some possibilities to chop into that lead, however this was an enormous outcome for Alonso and, by extension, Aston Martin.

Loser: Sergio Pérez

Qualifying struggles has been the story of Sergio Pérez’s season, together with a stretch earlier within the yr the place he didn’t advance to Q3 in five-straight races.

He missed out on Q3 once more Friday, when a lap time was deleted in Q2 throughout a frenetic end, seeing him qualify in P13.

All of this comes as Pérez’s future with Pink Bull stays one of many simmering storylines round F1. He’s beneath contract with the staff via subsequent season, however whether or not he stays with Pink Bull for 2025 and past continues to come back into query. Given the power of the RB19 this yr, many view Q3 as a “minimal” outcome — and Verstappen is amongst those that take a look at issues that method — however once more, Pérez can’t get the RB19 into Q3.

Actually Pérez could make up some floor within the Grand Prix Sunday, and he additionally has a Dash race tomorrow to financial institution some factors. However may a real struggle for second within the Drivers’ now be underway?

With struggles like this, he could very nicely have a struggle on his arms.

Winner: Valtteri Bottas

Misplaced in all of the drama concerning monitor limits? A robust efficiency from Valtteri Bottas.

The Alfa Romeo driver pushed into Q3, and completed in ninth place. It was his first Q3 for the reason that Hungarian Grand Prix in July, and comes at a time when he and Alfa Romeo wanted a strong outcome.

It stays to be seen if Bottas may have the form of race tempo he’ll want to complete within the factors. In spite of everything, he’ll have Norris, Pérez, and Sainz all beginning behind him, three drivers who appear to have quite a lot of tempo proper now. However even when he slides out of the factors, this was an awesome outcome for him.

Winners: Monitor limits

As we noticed in Austria, monitor limits obtained the higher of many drivers on Friday.

Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri definitely come to thoughts. Norris completed second in Q3, however was dropped to P10 after that lap was deleted for exceeding monitor limits. Piastri believed he was beginning third — and was in the course of his trackside interview following qualifying — when he was informed that his lap time had been deleted, dropping him all the way down to sixth.

However they weren’t alone. We talked about a few of the drivers who endured the same outcome, reminiscent of Stroll and Pérez, and there have been others who had lap occasions deleted for exceeding monitor limits throughout qualifying.

With one other qualifying session forward, coupled with each the Dash race and the Grand Prix itself, we’ve got most likely not heard the final from monitor limits this weekend.

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