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F1 starting grid: Lewis Hamilton claims pole position at Qatar Grand Prix

Formula One racing is headed to a town outside of Doha for the Qatar Grand Prix. We’ll update qualifying until we’ve got the full racing grid is set Sunday’s race at Losail International Circuit.

A general view of the start finish straight during previews ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Qatar at Losail International Circuit on November 18, 2021 in Doha, Qatar. Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images

UPDATE: We have two huge grid penalties heading into race day. Max Verstappen has received a five-grid penalty for failing to slow for double-waved yellow flags in qualifying. Valtteri Bottas has received a three-place grid penalty for failing to slow for single yellow flags. Pierre Gasly and Fernando Alonso move into the second and third positions, respectively, and Sainz moves into the fifth spot.

RESULTS: Lewis Hamilton has claimed the pole position at the Qatar Grand Prix. Max Verstappen and Valtteri Bottas finished second and third to join Hamilton on the front row.

Formula One racing has arrived at the Losail International Circuit this weekend for the Qatar Grand Prix. This race will take place on Sunday just north of the capital city Doha, getting underway at 9 a.m. ET on ESPN2. It will be available for live stream at WatchESPN.

This is the inaugural race in Qatar, replacing the Australian Grand Prix after that race was canceled earlier this year due to COVID-19. The Qatar Grand Prix will not run in 2022, but will return in 2023 as a permanent part of the schedule.

The day prior to Sunday’s race, we’ll get qualifying on the track. Considering this is a first time run down here, qualifying could get interesting after three practice runs. The one-hour qualifying period will take place at 9 a.m. and air on ESPN 2. The 20 drivers will race for 20 minutes to secure the fastest time. After 20 minutes, five drivers will be eliminated and slotted to spots 16-20. The remaining 15 drivers will then race for 15 minutes to eliminate five more drivers for spots 11-16. The final ten drivers will then compete for the pole position.

Lewis Hamilton is the favorite to claim the pole position at DraftKings Sportsbook. He’s installed at -105 and is followed by Max Verstappen (+145), Valtteri Bottas (+600), Sergio Pérez (+1600), and Charles Leclerc (+3500).

Here are the qualifying results for Saturday’s Qatar Grand Prix.

2021 Qatar Grand Prix, starting grid

Pos Driver Car No.
Pos Driver Car No.
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 44
2 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri 10
3 Fernando Alonso Alpine 14
4 Lando Norris McLaren 4
5 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 55
6 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 77
7 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing 33
8 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri 22
9 Esteban Ocon Alpine 31
10 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin 5
11 Sergio Perez Red Bull Racing 11
12 Lance Stroll Aston Martin 18
13 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 16
14 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren 3
15 George Russell Williams 63
16 Kimi Räikkönen Alfa Romeo 7
17 Nicholas Latifi Williams 6
18 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo 99
19 Mick Schumacher Haas 47
20 Nikita Mazepin Haas 9