At the Qatar Grand Prix, Max Verstappen secured the world title by emerging as the victor in the race. Here’s a recap of how it all unfolded in the world of Formula 1.
Below is the race report written by Giles Richards.
Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri share their thoughts:
“I found the three-stop strategy to be physically challenging, as it allowed me to push harder. Even in the last part of the race, I was able to push at maximum capacity. Overall, it was one of the most demanding races I’ve experienced, but I enjoyed the challenge. Congratulations to Oscar for driving flawlessly and to Max for another impressive performance.”
I found it difficult, as Lando mentioned, to maintain full speed with the three pit stops. The race consisted of 57 qualifying laps, which I feel like I have completed. Overall, it was a great race and I am pleased that all the tires held up well. I am also happy to have received another trophy.
After achieving his 49th victory in a race, Max Verstappen shares his thoughts.
My initial performance was the highlight of the race, but afterwards I focused on maintaining a steady pace and keeping my tires in optimal condition. The McLarens were once again fast today, so I had to push myself to stay competitive. It was undeniably a challenging race.
One of the top five, most likely.
I am currently perspiring a lot, and I am curious about what occurred last night. However, we will still take some time to appreciate it, as there are still many races that we hope to win.
I like it when we can continuously push on a tire without needing to make pit-stops. We design cars to perform well on tires, but today we weren’t able to fully utilize that advantage.
A collision between Russell and Hamilton was reported by PA Media.
Russell was sent into a spin and then had to limp back to the pits to get a replacement front wing. “Oh my God,” exclaimed the 25-year-old driver. “Let’s go! What is happening? I have sustained damage.”
Referring to their intense competition at the previous race in Japan, Russell exclaimed, “Come on, guys! This is two races in a row!”
Hamilton, 38, blamed his younger teammate while sitting in the sandtrap.
“I was hit by my teammate,” he stated. After getting back on the course and falling to the back of the pack, Russell reconnected to the intercom. “Apologies, I didn’t even see him coming,” he admitted. “I was too focused on what was ahead.”
“I am at a loss for words. I just watched the replays on TV and I was completely helpless. I was completely surrounded.”
Unfortunately, Mercedes team leader Toto Wolff is unable to attend this race due to his ongoing recovery from knee surgery. However, he did reach out to driver George Russell over the intercom in an attempt to calm him down. “George, let’s focus on the race and give it our all,” he encouraged.
38-year-old Hamilton admitted fault for the collision 40 minutes after it occurred.
During the intense moment, I was irritated because I felt a tap from behind, but I don’t believe George had any room to maneuver,” said the seven-time world champion, using a towel to wipe the sweat from his forehead.
I am accepting responsibility for the unfortunate situation as it falls within my role. I will review it and determine any necessary actions, but I do not believe it was George’s fault.
“Prior to the race, we were aware that we had different types of tires so we aimed to collaborate. I had the softer tire while those around me had the medium one, which made it necessary for me to overtake them. I attempted to pass Max on the outside, but it was unsuccessful.”
“We did not intend to join forces. This outcome is extremely disheartening for the team. I am truly saddened for everyone, including myself, for my role in it.”
The three leading drivers are currently seated in the relaxation area, feeling the pressure. There have been comments made about the collision between Hamilton and Russell at the beginning of the race.
What do you think of this as an admission of fault?
The end result is as follows.
1. Max Verstappen (Red Bull)
2. Oscar Piastri (McLaren)
3. Lando Norris (McLaren)
4. George Russell (Mercedes)
5. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)
6. Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin)
7. Esteban Ocon (Alpine)
The driver representing Alfa Romeo is Valtteri Bottas, number 8.
9. Sergio Perez (Red Bull)
The driver for Alfa Romeo, Zhou Guanyu, is number 10.
The driver for Aston Martin, Lance Stroll.
12. Pierre Gasly (Alpine)
13. Alex Albon (Williams)
14. Kevin Magnussen (Haas)
Fifteen, Yuki Tsunoda of Alpha Tauri team.
16. Nico Hulkenberg (Haas)
17. Liam Lawson (Alpha Tauri)
DNF. Logan Sargeant (Williams)
DNF. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
DNS. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari)
Oscar Piastri is drinking water, while Lando Norris is dousing himself with water.
After securing pole position, winning the race, and setting the fastest lap, Verstappen admits it was a nerve-wracking experience. Oscar Piastri describes it as the most challenging race of his career and praises his talent. Lando Norris congratulates his fellow racers with a simple message.
Verstappen secures his 14th consecutive pole position and crosses the finish line with ease. He also sets the fastest lap. Piastri and Norris are the other notable performances, finishing in second and third respectively for their second double podium in a row. Russell takes fourth place, followed by Leclerc in fifth.
George Russell, who is currently in 56th place out of 57 drivers, is experiencing a decrease in speed after changing his tires. Charles Leclerc is now pursuing him. This is not a favorable situation for the Mercedes team, as there is a possibility of Russell being passed by Leclerc. It appears that both Saubers, driven by Bottas and Zhou, will also score points today.
With only three laps remaining, the focus shifts to the intense competition between the McLarens and how the drivers will handle the pressure.
54/57 Norris is chasing down Piastri, his teammate. Russell is slower than the McLaren, who are getting closer to Verstappen if not exactly within touching distance.
After exiting the pit lane, Russell is in fourth place, trailing Norris by 10 seconds and with Piastri in second. We believe this will be the final round of pit stops due to the restrictions on tire changes.
Max Verstappen enters the pit lane on lap 52 out of 57 and his pit stop lasts just four seconds. He then sets a new fastest lap time.
Will Russell emerge from the pits at 51/57 with his visor lowered to increase air flow? He is currently using soft tires.
It is highly likely that Verstappen will secure yet another dominant victory, with a record of 50 out of 57 wins. It appears that George Russell is attempting to feel the wind on his face while traveling at a speed of 300 kilometers per hour. The latest update on Logan Sargeant confirms that he is uninjured, but suffering from dehydration.
Kevin Magnussen, with a ratio of 49 out of 57, is expressing anger towards his Haas team. He states that it is nonsensical after receiving a code word.
“We have some concerns about Russell,” Norris is informed. He is currently setting the fastest lap in the race. They are waiting for Russell to change his tires. Norris doesn’t seem to be paying attention.
Piastri achieved the fastest lap with a score of 47 out of 57. He had a highly successful weekend, winning the sprint race. Norris was not pleased when his team instructed him to maintain his position. “What?!” he questioned. While his team prioritized earning points, Norris wanted to compete against his teammate.
Logan Sargeant, number 46 out of 57, appears defeated and ill in the Williams garage. Sending my best wishes to him.
Verstappen has once again recorded the quickest lap at 45/57. While his competitors have struggled behind him, he has had a relatively smooth race. Norris and Piastri have both made pit stops and are now in third and fourth place, with a two-second gap between them.
Norris heads into the pit, after setting the fastest lap. Piastri also has a quick pit stop and is now in fourth place, following Russell who still needs to make another pit stop.
Max Verstappen, Oscar Piastri, and Lando Norris are currently the top three drivers, but Piastri is heading into the pits. However, Norris will receive a five-second penalty for repeatedly going off the track.
Logan Sargeant enters the scene with a race that has come to an end. His team attempts to provide him with hydration while a doctor is summoned. The weather conditions appear to be quite hot.
Verstappen holds the quickest lap time with a ratio of 41 to 57. Logan Sargeant expresses, “I am not feeling well, dude.” He is swerving erratically on the racecourse and it seems to be the end for him as he decreases his speed to allow another driver to overtake.
Perez received a five-second penalty for leaving the track. The pit lane is also beginning to become occupied.
Russell, with a time delay of 11 seconds, is currently in fifth place behind Norris. He will have to make another pit stop before the end of the race. Once he completes this lap, the 18-lap restriction on tyre usage will no longer be relevant.
Russell is quickly flying along, setting the fastest lap on a track that is becoming faster.
Verstappen, who switched to hard tires, now has a lead of approximately seven seconds over Piastri. The Red Bull team is concerned about the possibility of a safety car, which we all know can have a significant impact on the race.
Is it safe to race in these conditions considering Alonso’s overheating car and Sargeant’s illness? “I’m not feeling good at all.”
After pitting on lap 35 out of 57, Russell and Piastri are left in an uncertain position. Russell emerges in fourth place, while Williams requests for Logan Sargeant to retire from the race. Despite being at the back, Sargeant promises to finish the race, although his team reports that he is feeling unwell.
Alonso’s race took a turn for the worse as he spun out and ended up in seventh place. The dust kicked up from his car could be a sign of overheating. He made a mistake and ended up in the gravel, causing him to cross paths with Leclerc. This incident may be reviewed by the race officials. A stewards’ inquiry is likely.
Russell is currently in second place, sandwiched between Verstappen and Piastri. However, due to the pit situation, it is uncertain if this accurately reflects the true standings.
Norris, driving his McLaren, continues to set the fastest lap at 32 out of 57 laps. He is a talented young driver with impressive speed.
The team reminds Verstappen to increase his performance, but advises caution.
Piastri emerged victorious in his duel against Albon, setting the fastest lap with a time of 30/57.
Piastri makes an attempt to overtake Albon, while Norris moves up to seventh place and overtakes Alonso who is in eighth.
Sergio Perez, who had a rough day yesterday, has been performing strongly. However, he is now facing a penalty for leaving the track during his previous fastest lap.
Alonso enters after 27 out of 57 laps, his tires are replaced but he is not given any cooling measures. He may have to deal with a heated seat. Will this lead to frostbite?
Piastri and Leclerc both make their second pit stops. Piastri is currently in eighth place while Leclerc has dropped down to 14th. In the meantime, Alonso voices his discomfort with the temperature of his rear end. We can all relate, Nando.
Out of 57 attempts, Norris ultimately achieved the fastest lap on his 25th try.
Perez currently holds the fastest lap with a time of 24 out of 57. The Red Bull car is proving to be a formidable force on the track. Perez is using medium tyres for his run.
Verstappen has regained the lead, with Albon making a pit stop. He has received a warning for driving outside of the designated track boundaries.
After a short pause, it appears that there will be another round of tire changes coming up.
Currently, the competition is between Piastri and Alonso, while Gasly and Russell narrowly avoid a crash – mostly due to Gasly’s actions.