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Formula 1 Qatar GP

F1 Qatar GP Live Commentary and Updates – Race

Minute-by-minute updates for the 2023 Formula 1 Qatar Grand Prix

Max Verstappen wrapped up his third F1 world title in the Qatar sprint on Saturday and starts today’s grand prix on pole looking to celebrate in style.

But the race has thrown F1 teams a curveball with a mandated maximum of 18-lap stints – effectively pushing all drivers into a three-stop strategy – due to safety concerns on tyre trouble.

In conjunction with Pirelli, the FIA made the emergency measures official on Sunday afternoon before the race, following Saturday’s track limit changes at Turn 12 and 13 to deter drivers from going over the new and harsher kerbs.

The Qatar GP gets under way at 6:00pm BST.

By: Haydn Cobb, Sam Hall

Summary
  • Chequered flag: Three-time world champion Max Verstappen wins the Qatar Grand Prix - his 14th victory of the season
  • McLaren lock out the podium with Oscar Piastri second and Lando Norris third 
  • Lap 1/57 - Mercedes duo Hamilton and Russell collide at Turn 1,  - Safety Car deployed - Verstappen leads Piastri and Alonso
  • Maximum 18-lap stints mandated by the FIA over tyre concerns, meaning all drivers set for minimum three-stop race
  • Sainz unable to start race due to fuel system failure with his Ferrari - Perez starts from pitlane after car changes following his sprint race crash
Leaderboard
  1. Verstappen, Red Bull
  2. Piastri, McLaren
  3. Norris, McLaren
  4. Russell, Mercedes
  5. Leclerc, Ferrari
  6. Alonso, Aston Martin
  7. Ocon, Alpine
  8. Bottas, Alfa Romeo
  9. Zhou, Alfa Romeo
  10. Perez, Red Bull
Status: Stopped
With that, we'll call time on this live text coverage of the Qatar GP. We have a short one-week break before a triple-header of the United States, Mexico and Brazil to look forward to. Until then have a lovely rest of your Sunday! Go well!
The heat has even got to the fizz! The drivers go for the customary spraying of the fizzy stuff - rose water in Qatar remember - but nothing happens. They've been left out too long. Oh dear.
Verstappen, Piastri and Norris summon up enough energy to make the podium presentation and the familiar pairing of the Dutch and the Austrian national anthems.
The cooldown room with the podium trio is a scene. Piastri is flat on his back on the floor, Verstappen is slumped against the wall and Norris hunched on the chair. Reviewing the start, Piastri says "thank you Mercedes" after hearing about the start crash.
Here's the full Qatar GP report: https://www.autosport.com/f1/news/f1-qatar-gp-race-report/10530605/
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19, Oscar Piastri, McLaren MCL60, Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin AMR23

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19, Oscar Piastri, McLaren MCL60, Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin AMR23

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Verstappen on his Qatar GP win: "I think what made the race was my first stint, after that I could manage my pace and keep the tyres in a good window. But the McLarens were quick again today."
Second place Piastri on being told he is driver of the day: "I thought you were going to say I got given a five-second penalty for track limits! You scared the crap out of me!"
Norris on his third place: "A mega race from start to finish. I learnt from my mistake yesterday going wide at the first corner, I told you I'd go tight, and I did and it worked out. We probably had the best pace out there."
Perez is given another five-second penalty for, you guessed it, track limits which pushes him down to 10th and promotes Zhou to ninth.
Verstappen jumps into the arms of his Red Bull squad to celebrate yet another win. He's joined by the McLaren pair but they all look shattered. That was a hot and hard race!
Piastri is given the driver of the day award along with his sprint win and second place in the grand prix. Not a bad Qatar GP weekend for the F1 rookie!
Russell puts in a fine recovery drive to take fourth place ahead of Leclerc, with Alonso sixth .
Verstappen wins the Qatar Grand Prix! Piastri holds on to second by 1.1s from Norris!
Another five second penalty for Gasly for track limits. That's 15 in total for his race!
Verstappen puts in a new fastest lap of 1m24.319s on the penultimate lap to cap another fine performance. He leads by 5.2s, while Piastri has Norris within a second behind him.
Gasly passes Perez but - as was the case against Stroll - he has gone off the track to complete the move. The position will have to be conceded.
Verstappen is creeping away again with his lead up to 4s, while Russell's pace is nowhere on the softs and he could be under pressure from Leclerc at the end.
And now Stroll gets another five second penalty for track limits.
Gasly hands back the position but Perez makes his way past the Frenchman too. Stroll is defending for his life from Red Bull driver, Perez.
Complicating the matter, however, Perez is now all over the gearbox of Stroll.
Battling for the final points paying position, Gasly goes around the outside of Stroll at Turn 1 but he runs off the track when completing the move. It's already under investigation and the position will likely have to be conceded back.
Into the final five laps, Verstappen leads by 3.8s from Piastri with Norris a further 1.5s back. Russell has 18s to find to catch Norris, which seems a massive ask.
Leader Verstappen pits a lap later, ditching hards for mediums, but it is a slow 4.1s stop. No matter, he comes out in the lead again with Piastri only just able to see him ahead on the main straight.
With six laps to go Russell pits for the fourth time in the race, swaps his hards for softs, and comes out in fourth. He'll chase the McLarens to the end.
Verstappen has this race in the bag, if anyone was worried. He leads by 25s from Russell and 34s from Piastri so has plenty of time in hand to pit for the last time and return to the lead.
"Kevin, we need Bravo 10, position 4," say Haas. 

"Argh! It doesn't make sense!" is the cry in response from Magnussen. 

What do we think that mode does?
Norris makes his point on the track by putting in a new fastest lap of the race with a 1m24.842s. McLaren is worried about Russell pitting again, switching to softs, and attacking them both late on.
Norris is told over team radio to hold position behind Piastri with 10 laps to go. He's trying to convince McLaren to let them race. They are split by 2s.
Albon is now under investigation for track limits. And the penalty arrives - five seconds for the Williams driver.