Lewis Hamilton won the pole position in the first qualifiers for the Qatar GP in which he was almost half a second faster than Max Verstappen, and Valtteri Bottas finished third fastest in the second Mercedes. Hamilton was the fastest after the first laps in Q3 with a time of 1: 21.262, 0.162 seconds ahead of Verstappen while Bottas was 0.216 seconds slower than his teammate.
But in other attempts, Hamilton significantly improved his lap in 0.435 seconds and drove 1: 20.827 for the 102nd pole position in his F1 career, and Verstappen failed to endanger Hamilton even though he improved his lap and ended up 0.455 seconds behind.
Bottas finished third with a big 0.651 seconds behind his team-mate, and Gasly finished fourth fastest although in the second Q3 lap he crossed the curb widely at the exit of the 15th turn and punctured the tire. Alonso placed fifth for Alpine, 0.030 seconds behind Gasly, and Norris was sixth for McLaren, 0.061 seconds slower than Alonso.
Sainz was a tenth slower than Norris in seventh place for Ferrari ahead of Tsunoda in AlphaTauri, and Ocon was ninth in the second Alpine ahead of Vettel in Aston Martin who was slowest in Q3.
In the last part of the qualifications, two Mercedes drivers, two AlphaTauri drivers, two Alpine drivers, and one Red Bull, McLaren, Ferrari, and Aston Martin driver each qualified.
Perez (Red Bull) is the biggest disappointment of the second part of qualifying because he finished as 11th fastest ahead of Stroll in Vettel in Aston Martin, and Leclerc also disappointed because he failed to qualify in Q3, although he tried on soft tires in the end, so he finished only 12 for Ferrari.
Sainz was much better than his teammate as he placed in Q3 on medium tires, as did Hamilton, Bottas, and Verstappen, while the other drivers in Q3 passed on soft. Ricciardo was the 14th fastest for McLaren, who in Q2 was faster only than Russell in Williams, who managed to place in Q2 again after Mexico.
Raikkonen was the fastest having in mind the drivers who dropped out in Q1 in 16th place for Alfa Romeo ahead of Latifi in Williams and Giovinazzi in second Alfa, and the last two places were taken by drivers Haasa Schumacher and Mazepin. The race is scheduled for 3 p.m. It has never been more exciting, and it will be interesting to follow what will happen.