title contenders-adrift-of-pacesetter-bottas-in-qatar

Title contenders adrift of pacesetter Bottas in Qatar

Watch the Qatar GP live across the weekend only on Sky Sports F1, with Qualifying at 2pm on Saturday; Valtteri Bottas fastest in evening session from Pierre Gasly, who finishes second quickest again at Losail; Verstappen ahead of Hamilton behind Friday’s leading duo

Last Updated: 19/11/21 3:40pm


    Ride onboard with Valtteri Bottas as he set the new fastest time during the second practice session ahead of the Qatar GP.

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    Ride onboard with Valtteri Bottas as he set the new fastest time during the second practice session ahead of the Qatar GP.

    Ride onboard with Valtteri Bottas as he set the new fastest time during the second practice session ahead of the Qatar GP.

    Max Verstappen outpaced Lewis Hamilton in second practice at the inaugural Qatar GP – but the title contenders finished third and fourth on the timesheet, with Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas leading the way.

    The opening day of F1 running on the Losail International Circuit, a track that proved dusty but incredibly smooth, saw Red Bull and Mercedes top one session apiece against the backdrop of rumbling off-track rows between the championship rivals.

    After Verstappen led the morning timesheet – and then avoided a full stewards’ investigation into his driving against Hamilton when they battled for the lead in Brazil last week – it was Bottas who took over at the top in the evening under the circuit’s floodlights.

    Posting a best lap on the soft tyres of 1:23.148, Bottas’ closest rival was actually AlphaTauri’s impressive Pierre Gasly who finished second-quickest in both of Friday’s sessions.

    Mercedes have been denied a right of review for Max Verstappen's defence from Lewis Hamilton at the Sao Paulo GP.

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    Mercedes have been denied a right of review for Max Verstappen’s defence from Lewis Hamilton at the Sao Paulo GP.

    Mercedes have been denied a right of review for Max Verstappen’s defence from Lewis Hamilton at the Sao Paulo GP.

    Verstappen’s third-quickest time was 0.350s slower than Bottas, while Hamilton was a further tenth away from his team-Mercedes mate.

    “I’m off, so I’m definitely not close,” admitted Hamilton, who was even further off the leading pace in P1.”

    Lewis Hamilton gave his thoughts to his Friday practice ahead of the Qatar GP.

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    Lewis Hamilton gave his thoughts to his Friday practice ahead of the Qatar GP.

    Lewis Hamilton gave his thoughts to his Friday practice ahead of the Qatar GP.

    Red Bull boss Christian Horner told Sky F1: “You could see Valtteri was looking pretty sharp out there. I think there are a few areas we can improve…but generally a reasonable day for us.”

    Lando Norris posted a strong fifth-quickest time for McLaren with Lance Stroll sixth on an encouraging opening day for Aston Martin. Yuki Tsunoda made it two AlphaTauris in a top six on a circuit that features a number of high-speed corners and a long high-speed pit straight.

    More to follow…

    Qatar GP Practice Two Timesheet

    DriverTeamTime
    1) Valtteri BottasMercedes1:23.148
    2) Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri 0.209
    3) Max VerstappenRed Bull 0.350
    4) Lewis HamiltonMercedes 0.422
    5) Lando NorrisMcLaren 0.484
    6) Lance StrollAston Martin 0.557
    7) Yuki TsunodaAlphaTauri 0.587
    8) Sergio PerezRed Bull 0.639
    9) Sebastian VettelAston Martin 0.872
    10) Carlos SainzFerrari 0.885
    11) Esteban OconAlpine 0.893
    12) Fernando AlonsoAlpine 0.908
    13) Charles LeclercFerrari 0.947
    14) Daniel RicciardoMcLaren 0.987
    15) Kimi RaikkonenAlfa Romeo 1.483
    16) George RussellWilliams 1.806
    17) Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo 1.924
    18) Nicholas LatifiWilliams 2.061
    19) Mick SchumacherHaas 2.427
    20) Nikita MazepinHaasNo time set