Strong response from Mercedes. Qatar GP without an unambiguous favorite

Red Bull had a lot of problems in the second F1 practice before the Qatar GP, which Mercedes took advantage of. Valtteri Bottas turned out to be the best driver of the evening session at Losail. This time Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton played supporting roles.

Łukasz Kuczera

Łukasz Kuczera

Losail circuit in Qatar

Press materials / Mercedes / Pictured: Tor Losail in Qatar

Before the second Formula 1 practice session ahead of the Qatar GP, there was a decision by the judges that Max Verstappen would not be penalized for the previous Sao Paulo GP where he blocked and took Lewis Hamilton off the track. This way, the current leader of the general classification of F1 could start the session with a clear head.

However, during the evening training, because this was played on the Losail track with artificial light, Max Verstappen spent a lot of time in the garage. All because of a problem with the DRS system on his car. Sergio Perez faced similar problems.

The effect was that although the “red bulls” successfully started the weekend with the Qatar GP, because Verstappen was the fastest in the morning, after the second session Mercedes has reasons to be pleased. The best driver after Friday’s struggle is Valtteri Bottas with a time of 1: 23.148.

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Quite unexpectedly, Pierre Gasly achieved the second training time in the evening, only 0.209 seconds behind Bottas. The difference would have been greater if the Finnish driver’s best lap had not been removed by the judges. All because he exceeded the limits of the track.

– Switch the engine mode immediately, because we don’t like it very much – Gasly heard from Alpha Tauri engineer at one point, but it did not disturb his performance in the second training session before the Qatar GP.

F1 – Qatar GP – 2nd training – results:

Item Driver Team Time / waste
1. Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1: 23.148
2. Pierre Gasly Alpha Tauri +0.209
3. Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing +0.350
4. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes +0.422
5. Lando Norris McLaren +0.484
6. Lance Stroll Aston Martin +0.557
7. Yuki Tsunoda Alpha Tauri +0.587
8. Sergio Perez Red Bull Racing +0.639
9. Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin +0.872
10. Carlos Sainz Ferrari +0.885
11. Esteban Ocon Alpine +0.893
12. Fernando Alonso Alpine +0.908
13. Charles Leclerc Ferrari +0.947
14. Daniel Ricciardo McLaren +0.987
15. Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo +1.483
16. George Russell Williams +1.806
17. Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo +1.924
18. Nicholas Latifi Williams +2.061
19. Mick Schumacher Haas +2,427
twenty. Nikita Mazepin Haas

Also read:
The world championship for a Pole is one step away
Lewis Hamilton wants F1 control

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About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

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