Updated: Feb 28
Written by Aiden Hover, Edited by Harshi Vashee
Max Verstappen put in a sensational lap at the beginning of Q3 to secure his position on the front row ahead of Lewis Hamilton – putting a vital 8 metres between the two rivals on tomorrow’s grid! This slight edge could prove crucial in deciding the championship battle. The pair are level on points ahead of tomorrow’s season finale, a feat that has only happened once before in the history of the sport, back in 1974. Regardless of the titanic scrap on the front row, McLaren’s Lando Norris did not fail to impress with an unexpected third position to finish the season on a high!
Sergio Perez will line up 4th after gifting a tactical tow to his RedBull teammate to ensure his pole position. The Ferrari of Carlos Sainz will start just behind with Valtteri Bottas alongside him for Mercedes following a disappointing qualifying day for the Finn. Charles Leclerc lines up 7th with Yuki Tsunoda impressing his fans with an 8th place grid spot and medium tyres for lights out tomorrow. Esteban Ocon and Daniel Ricciardo rounded out the top 10 in which every driver got through on faster, less durable soft tyres with the exception of the two Mercedes drivers and the before mentioned Tsunoda, who will be on the slower if not more durable mediums. Verstappen had planned to join this list until an unfortunate lockup with his medium tyres, forcing him to run soft tyres at the end of Q2.
Fernando Alonso will be the first driver to have free tyre choice as he narrowly missed out on the top 10 shoot out of Q3 and will line up 11th! The Spaniard was understandably angry to miss out by such a small margin claiming he was held up by the McLaren of Ricciardo as he finished his final run. Pierre Gasly was unfortunate to suffer what seemed to be a breaking issue on his first Q2 run before being involved in the confusing mess of cars at the end of the session as seemingly the entire pack squabbled for space on their out laps. The Frenchman will start 12th. Lance Stroll put himself 13th with Antonio Giovinazzi just behind for his last race weekend in F1. Sebastian Vettel was disappointed to finish last in Q2 as he too felt hard done by the traffic situation at the hand of Ocon!
Nicholas Latifi put in a good lap in Q1 to outqualify George Russell for their final race as teammates before Russell makes the move to Mercedes for 2022. Meanwhile, Kimi Räikkönen will be disappointed to qualify only 18th for his final F1 weekend before his retirement from the sport following an impressive 20-year career. As is the tradition in 2021, it’s an all Haas back row lockout with Mick Schumacher beating out Nikita Mazepin once again.
Be sure not to miss tomorrow’s season finale in what is set to become a truly historic race. The last race for both Kimi Räikkönen and Antonio Giovinazzi. The last race for George Russell at Williams before his move to Mercedes and for Valtteri Bottas at Mercedes before his move to Alfa Romeo! The last race with Honda on the F1 grid and the last race with this era of Formula One cars before the rebirth of the ground effect era for 2022 onwards! Most importantly, however, tomorrow will decide the fate of the championship. Max Verstappen or Lewis Hamilton? Tune in tomorrow to find out!