Live: F1 Qatar GP updates - Qualifying

Follow the live action as the Formula 1 Qatar Grand Prix gets under way on Friday.

Max Verstappen could wrap up his third Formula 1 world championship title during this weekend's sprint race, should he score three points or more on Saturday.

He holds a 177-point lead over team-mate Sergio Perez, with Red Bull already having clinched the constructors' title last time out in Japan.

The Dutchman has won all bar three grands prix this year, with Perez and Ferrari's Carlos Sainz the only other drivers to have taken Sunday victories.

The sprint format means qualifying takes place on Friday, with the sprint shootout and race taking place on Saturday ahead of Sunday's grand prix.

Qatar GP first practice starts at 2:30pm BST, followed by qualifying at 6:00pm BST.

By: Megan White, Lewis Duncan, James Newbold, Haydn Cobb



  • Verstappen takes Qatar GP pole position on weekend he can clinch drivers' world title
  • Norris had joined Verstappen on the front row but had lap time deleted for track limits and drops to 10th
  • Piastri also has lap time deleted in Q3 and drops from third to sixth
  • Out in Q2: P11 Tsunoda, P12 Sainz, P13 Perez, P14 Albon, P15 Hulkenberg
  • Out in Q1: P16 Sargeant, P17 Stroll, P18 Lawson, P19 Magnussen, P20 Zhou
  • Friday qualifying sets the grid for Sunday's race, Saturday hosts the sprint qualifying and race
  • Losail track has undergone resurfacing since 2021 race


  1. Verstappen, Red Bull
  2. Russell, Mercedes
  3. Hamilton, Mercedes
  4. Alonso, Aston Martin
  5. Leclerc, Ferrari
  6. Piastri, McLaren
  7. Gasly, Alpine
  8. Ocon, Alpine
  9. Bottas, Alfa Romeo
  10. Norris, McLaren
Status: Stopped
Will Max Verstappen become the first driver ever to be crowned world champion thanks to points scored in a sprint race? We look forward to your company again tomorrow as we find out. Thank you as always for following along with us. Until the next time, goodbye!
Plenty of drama in qualifying then, and we're set for plenty more tomorrow when we'll get to do it all over again in the sprint shootout and the sprint race.
Here's the full report from qualifying, as Max Verstappen comes out on top and in a rollercoaster few minutes for McLaren both Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri are docked their best times for track limits violations in Q3:
At the other end of the scale, Bottas will start ninth ahead of Norris, Sainz and Perez. Should he manage to finish in the same position, he would score two invaluable points for Alfa that would draw it level in the constructors' table with Haas.
A strong qualifying day then for Mercedes as the team seeks to extend its advantage over Ferrari in the race for second in the constructors' standings. With Stroll out in Q1, Aston Martin will be breathing a sigh of relief at the McLaren penalties compromising the papaya team's efforts to close on its current fourth place.
Have we quite finished? Whisper it quietly, but it appears that the top 10 order now may be settled.
Alonso is another big beneficiary, having moved up from sixth to fourth since the session ended, while Leclerc is boosted to fifth ahead of the red-faced Piastri.
Double trouble for McLaren! Piastri had been boosted to third by Norris's lap deletion, but his quickest time has been deleted too. Hamilton therefore moves up to third. But Piastri's banker was enough for sixth.
But there's another twist in the tail. Norris has had his second effort cancelled for track limits, leaving him without a banker. He drops to tenth, elevating Russell to second.
So it's pole then for Verstappen, his tenth of the year, and by 0.296s over Norris who matches his best qualifying of the year from Silverstone and Zandvoort.
Replays show Verstappen and Hamilton both aborted their final runs after lurid slides took them well off line. But while it didn't matter a jot for the Red Bull driver, Hamilton's failure to improve drops him from second to fifth.
Alonso moves up to sixth ahead of Leclerc, as Gasly, Ocon and Bottas round out the top 10.
Russell and Piastri vault ahead of Hamilton, who pulls into the pits and aborts his run.
Verstappen elects not to go for a final run, and his time is safe from the first assault from Norris who comes up 0.296s short.
Verstappen was fastest in the first and third sectors on the first runs, but Hamilton laid supreme in the middle. Can the 2021 Qatar winner parlay that form around the rest of the track to lay down a challenge?
Cars are now queued at the end of the pitlane ready for their final flyers.
Leclerc doing an extra lap certainly caught Norris by surprise as he wasn't informed by his team of the fast-approaching Ferrari. It's all or nothing then for Norris on his next timed lap as he committed the same foul as Perez in running too wide on the exit of Turn 5.
Russell is third, then Piastri, while Leclerc goes again after his big snap of oversteer took him over the kerbs and goes fifth.
Verstappen puts in the first sub-1m24s time of the weekend to claim provisional pole on a 1m23.778s. Nearest challenger Hamilton is a full 0.527s behind. Dominant.
As the first runs commence, both Norris and Leclerc are penalised for track limits.
Q3 is underway and Bottas heads out first. The Alfa has certainly not been a regular Q3 visitor this year - could this be the last time we see the Italian brand in the top 10 shootout as it prepares to bow out of F1 at the end of the season?
Replays show that Albon's efforts to make the Q3 cut were stymied by running wide at Turn 15 and having to abort his lap. Perez meanwhile was pinged for going wide over Turn 5's exit kerb.
Hamilton already has a pole to his name this year in Hungary, but can he ensure his 100% record in Qatar continues by snaring the top spot in Q3? Plenty to look forward to over the next few minutes as we prepare for the decisive session.
Hamilton then was fastest from Verstappen in a repeat of the 2021 Q3 order, with Norris and Piastri third and fourth. Russell and Gasly were next up, as Ocon, Leclerc, Alonso and Bottas rounded out the top 10.
Bottas squeaks into the top 10, beating Tsunoda by 0.004s, with Sainz 0.031s adrift in 12th. Perez ends up 13th ahead of Albon and Hulkenberg.
Perez will also miss Q3 as he had a laptime good enough for tenth deleted.
Verstappen had gone fastest to usurp the two McLarens, but now it's Hamilton's turn to claim the top spot at the head of the times.
The answer is no, as he's bumped back to 12th. Sainz misses out on Q3!
Sainz was 0.233s away from the top 10 in 14th, but does move up to ninth with his final flyer of the session. Will it be enough?
Leclerc had been shuffled back to eighth but earns some breathing room by moving up to fifth. Sainz's bid to escape the drop isn't looking encouraging as he is overtaken on the track by an unhappy Verstappen, who remarks over the radio that "I almost crashed into him" as the Spaniard sought to retain track position.
But Norris goes quicker still and displaces his team-mate by 0.039s, pushing Verstappen to third.
Piastri was just 0.038s outside the top 10 after his first run and now goes fastest by 0.034s!
Snaps of oversteer in the opening sector force both Ferraris to abandon their flying laps, Leclerc even visiting the run off in his haste to gather up the car.
Tsunoda, Ocon and Albon currently complete the top 10, with Piastri, Hulkenberg, Sainz, Bottas and Norris (yet to set a time) looking to fight their way in.
Hamilton has also demoted Gasly by going third-fastest, while Alonso is currently fifth ahead of Leclerc and Perez.
There was a 0.460s between Verstappen and Gasly at the sharp end, which Russell duly slots himself into by going second, 0.206s down on the world champion-elect.
Ocon's first effort is deleted for a track limits violation, putting more pressure on his next run.
But normal service is resumed as Verstappen slams in a 1m24.758s to snatch the top spot away from the Alpine.
However Leclerc goes quicker on a 1m25.348s before 2021 front row man Gasly lodges a 1m25.218s to go fastest of all so far.
The first time on the board from Piastri is a 1m25.745s which puts him ahead of Sainz, Bottas and Ocon.