Welcome at RacingNews365

Become part of the largest racing community in the United Kingdom. Create your free account now!

  • Share your thoughts and opinions about F1
  • Win fantastic prizes
  • Get access to our premium content
  • Take advantage of more exclusive benefits
Sign in
Qatar Grand Prix 2023

Winners and Losers from 2023 F1 Qatar Grand Prix qualifying

A mixed session in Qatar Grand Prix qualifying, but who has made the list of Winners and Losers?

Verstappen Qatar
To news overview © XPBimages

As you were.

For the 10th time this season, it is Max Verstappen on pole position, after a blistering effort at Lusail in Qatar Grand Prix qualifying.

It is the 30th pole of his career and means he could start Sunday's race from P1 having secured his third-straight World Championship in the Sprint if he finishes in the top six.

A commanding performance was topped off by the fact that he even effectively sat out the second runs in Q3 such was the advantage he held - taking pole by an eventual 0.441s from George Russell.

And we start our Winners and Losers with Russell's Mercedes team.

Winner - Mercedes

By simply staying on the race-track, Mercedes improved a three-five into a two-three on the grid, potentially opening up race options if it can keep that RB19 of Verstappen in sight.

Russell will ride shotgun on the front-row, but only just after Lewis Hamilton qualified less than a tenth behind.

Practice was nothing to shout home about for the team, but it has been a solid start to the weekend where it looks the third fastest team, but thanks to McLarens inability to stay within track limits, it will start the Lusail race as second.

A job firmly well done.

What did Hamilton say?

"When you go beyond the highest point of the kerb, we do lose time, so I'm not really sure at this track if we need to have track limits. It's something that the stewards brought in a couple of years ago, and Lando should be up here."

			© XPBimages
	© XPBimages

Loser - McLaren and Sergio Perez

Lando Norris, Oscar Piastri and Sergio Perez only have themselves to blame.

It can't be simpler. You go off the track and over the white lines, you open yourself up to track limits ruining all your good work.

The trio were far from the only ones to do so in qualifying, but were the big losers as McLaren's potential two-four on the grid became a 10-six for Norris and Piastri, respectively while Perez's horror in qualifying continued.

It is the eighth time he has failed to reach Q3 in 17 races. Given the pace of the RB19, that is just not good enough and he needs to arrest the slide immediately or that 2024 seat will start to look not as secure as it once was.

What did Norris say?

"I just had a correctional of oversteer and I went off. The team has done a good job, I just messed it up."

			© XPBimages
	© XPBimages

Winner - Valtteri Bottas

Valtteri Bottas has been on something of a hiding to nowhere in 2023.

His season started with some dreadful bad luck before the summer turned into one long trek around Europe often without reward, but this was an outstanding performance.

His Suzuka race last time out was ruined early on, but on the similarly high-speed Lusail track, he dragged the C43 into Q3, and will start ninth.

Bottas found decent time through each segment, improving from a 1:26.038 in Q1 to a 1:25.058 in Q3.

Some of that will be track evolution, but to find a second throughout qualifying is a good job.

Bottas excels in the low-grip conditions that have been found at Lusail, so he could be on for a much-needed and deserved points haul.

What did Bottas say?

"This result is a good reward for the whole team, for the job done over the past few weeks. It has been a positive surprise to be in the top ten but it shows how we hit the ground running, right from the only practice session – as we intended to – and made all the right calls."

			© XPBimages
	© XPBimages

Loser - Lance Stroll

Oh Lance.

First things first, Lance Stroll appeared to aggressively push his trainer in the Aston Martin garage and for that, he was totally out of line and needs dealing with, internally, by the team.

It came after he qualified 17th, the fourth straight race he's been knocked out in Q1 while Fernando Alonso eventually qualified fourth.

Stroll is a downward spiral of form, one which he cannot arrest as his stock as a Grand Prix driver continues to fall. The more it does, and the more he cannot snap out of it, the more questions will be directed at owner Lawrence Stroll as to if the team can afford, sporting-wise, to keep Stroll in the car.

If he had been performing better, Aston would have more than 49 points to play with to hold off the charging McLaren. Even if it tries to spin fifth as an improvement and good season, given the pace of that car, fourth should have been the minimum - and Stroll is the reason the team will lose it at the current rate.

But enough about the wider picture.

If you are living through the hell that the Canadian is at the moment, you simply cannot go around shoving people like he appeared to do. That will only draw more negative attention and questions rather than a 'Oh, Stroll was 17th - that's not good for Aston' that might have been received had he not acted so petulantly.

What did Stroll say?

Well, not a great deal. You can read Lance Stroll's complete comments here.

			© XPBimages
	© XPBimages

F1 2023 Qatar Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

Join the conversation!

LATEST Verstappen sets Red Bull benchmark as 'every little detail matters'