Lewis Hamilton He has added his fourth pole position of the season at the Qatar GP, which will start this Sunday at 3:00 p.m. and which opens this weekend on the calendar. The English has a golden opportunity to bridge the gap with Max Verstappen, who will start next to him in the first row of the grid and who leads the championship with a 14-point advantage with three races remaining.

The champion, who is seeking his eighth title, dominated the qualifying with authority, setting the best time in the three rounds and adding the 102nd pole of his sporting career. Hamilton He was not the fastest in qualifying since the Hungarian GP and this result adds even more excitement to a grand prix that may be crucial to the outcome of the tightest World Championship of the last decade.

The whole weekend is disputed with the morbidness of the fight that Hamilton and Verstappen had last week in Brazil and the final decision of the FIA ​​not to reopen the investigation for the maneuver he made Max when kicking off the track Lewis on lap 48 of Interlagos. The championship has heated up, with a display of nerves and bad manners between Christian Horner (Red Bull) and Totto Wolff (Mercedes) and this Sunday another act will be seen on a track that hosts a Formula One grand prix for the first time.

The start is presented as one of the highlights of the race, as serious difficulties are expected to overtake, with a single point to activate the DRS, dirt when leaving the optimal line and very twisty areas, although the enormous degradation of tires causes a minimum of two pit stops to be estimated. The start that precedes a long straight and the ‘pitbox’ will be the key moments to gain positions, except for piloting errors or technical failures.

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Best ‘chrono’ of Alonso

The battle for fourth place, with Sergio perez disappeared all weekend with the second Red Bull, it has been very exciting, with six drivers fighting for a place in the second row, an honor that in the end has been for the French Pierre Gasly. Fernando AlonsoFor his part, he qualified fifth, being the best result on the grid since he returned to F1 this year with Alpine.

It also deserves a separate mention Carlos Sainz, who will start seventh in the race with the same tires – medium – as the first three, which can make the first pit stop longer. The Madrid-born, who has scored 12 consecutive grands prix, is finishing his first season with Ferrari in an outstanding way and has surpassed in Losail with self-confidence Leclerc, which was cut off in the second batch.

Q1: Maximum equality

Maximum equality between the first three, with Hamilton leading the times ahead of Verstappen and bottas. The difference between them was one second, so everything was open on a track that was improving by the minute. Traffic has conditioned the first cut of the qualification, in which Sainz was fourth and Alonso, sixth. The first five eliminated were, in this order, Raikkonen, Latifi, Giovinazzi, Schumacher and Mazepin.

Hamilton has been, again, first in the first of the two attempts of the second round, ahead of Verstappen and bottas, endorsing its dominance in the last attempt. The different tire strategies for the start, with the most powerful cars using the medium rubber, have put the emotion in this ‘qualy’, in which only the Mercedes, a Red Bull and the Ferrari of Carlos Sainz They have placed themselves on the grid with a tire that guarantees them, a priori, a two-stop race. PérezAgainst all odds Stroll, Leclerc, who with soft rubber has had a worse time than Carlos, Ricciardo and Russell have fallen in this second cut.

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Q3: Alonso, fifth

In the moment of truth, with Hamilton As a favorite according to what has been seen in the previous bets, the Briton has fulfilled the forecasts and has set the best time, with Verstappen again between the two Mercedes. Alonso and Sainz have been overtaken by Gasly, room. Everything was up for grabs on the last try, though Hamilton he presented himself as the main candidate. Lewis struck the table with a flawless lap, setting an extraordinary 1: 20.8, four tenths faster than Verstappen, second, and six faster than bottas. A prick of Gasly, after breaking a piece of the front wing on a piano, has led to some drivers not being able to improve their times in a session in which Fernando Alonso has been fifth and Sainz, seventh, surpassed at the last moment by Norris.


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