Written by Aiden Hover, edited By Tansihka Vashee
Max Verstappen will start tomorrow’s race in pole position for the second weekend on the trot following a dominant showing in qualifying today! He will be joined by title rival, Sir Lewis Hamilton on the front row – which is sure to lead to some drama tomorrow. Lando Norris repeats his 2020 feat and will start 3rd on the grid having had great pace all day. Valtteri Bottas, who qualified 2nd but was awarded a three-place grid penalty for his pitlane spin during practice, will start 5th.
Sergio Perez will start 4th on the grid, having struggled to keep up with his Dutch teammate all weekend. Pierre Gasly, having topped Q2 for much of the session, will be very pleased with 6th for tomorrow’s race as he once again harnesses all the pace from his Alpha Tauri. Yuki Tsunoda, his teammate, managed to break his qualifying rut with a P8 in today’s session. The young Japanese driver, however, is under investigation for impeding Valtteri Bottas and so may receive a grid penalty. Lining up 7th is Charles Leclerc who overperformed in his Ferrari, out-qualifying his teammate by some margin. Fernando Alonso has truly come alive at this point of the season by qualifying 9th just ahead of the Aston Martin of Lance Stroll who rounds out the top 10.
Qualifying Two was headlined by the struggles of Lewis Hamilton. The Brit seemed to lack pace on the medium tyres with a horrendous lockup forcing him to put extra laps onto his race starting set. Meanwhile, multiple drivers suffered from track limits violations with the two Aston Martins having their final times deleted – causing the razor thin escape from Lance Stroll and the elimination of Sebastian Vettel who will start 14th tomorrow. George Russell narrowly missed out on his first Q3 appearance as a Williams driver by only 0.008 seconds as he proved once again why we call him Mr Saturday and will line up 11th with a free choice of tyres tomorrow. A disappointing session from Carlos Sainz and Daniel Ricciardo, we will see them start 12th and 13th with Antonio Giovinazzi setting the slowest time of the session in 15th.
Qualifying One saw the elimination of Nicholas Latifi who, despite setting a stunning lap good enough for P8 at the time, was unable to take advantage of the improving track conditions and will line up 16th tomorrow. He was joined by Esteban Ocon in being eliminated who himself has seemed to struggle ever since his contract extension with Alpine was announced, and will start 17th just ahead of Kimi Raikkonen in 18th. The back row tomorrow will be occupied by the two Haas cars, Mick Schumacher just ahead of Nikita Mazepin.
Be sure not to miss tomorrow’s race, as well as all the action from this weekend – including round 1 of the 2021 W-series season!