Lewis Hamilton delivered one of his most dominant qualifying performances of the season to take pole position for the inaugural Qatar Grand Prix, with title rival Max Verstappen lining up alongside him in second.
The reigning world champion had the momentum heading into Q3, having been fastest in each of the previous two segments, and put himself in supreme shape after the first runs with a clinical lap.
He was then the first to head out for the second and final runs – and found even more time, smashing into the 1m20s (the only driver to do so) to take pole position by nearly half a second from Verstappen.
The second Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas slotted into third, ahead of Pierre Gasly, who had the shine taken off his stunning performance when he ran well wide at the penultimate corner. That dragged him onto a kerb, which shattered his front wing and led to a puncture.
FORMULA 1 OOREDOO QATAR GRAND PRIX 2021
|2 MaxVERSTAPPENRed Bull Racing||1:21.282|