OFFICIAL QUALIFYING SESSION THRILLS FANS AT PACKED LCSC
DOHA: The Official Qualifying on Saturday for the FORMULA 1 OOREDOO QATAR GRAND PRIX 2021 added to the fan frenzy at Losail Circuit Sports Club (LCSC) where Day Two of the event attracted another large crowd.
Seven-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes took the historic first ever Pole Position for Sunday’s Official Race after clocking an impressive time of 1:20.827 under lights at the 5.38km track.
Max Verstappen of Red Bull Racing secured the second spot on the grid after posting a time of 1:21.282 as F1 prepared for the 20th round of the World Championship. Hamilton’s teammate Valtteri Bottas was third fastest (1:21.478) while Frenchman Pierre Gasly (Alpha Tauri) was fourth (1:21.640).
“It is my first time racing here. How are you guys doing? So good to see so many fans,” a beaming Hamilton said after the Official Qualifying on Saturday. “It is an amazingly fast track. It is fun to drive here,” the Briton added. It was the 102nd Pole Position for Hamilton.
Former world champion Fernando Alonso (Alpine) was impressed with his form as he clinched the fifth-fastest time (1:21.670), just a notch behind Gasly who suffered a late puncture on Turn 15.
For fans, the day’s entertainment started with the Red Bull Stunt Rider show – which was conducted twice on Saturday – on the main straight which was followed by the third free practice session of the race weekend. Tickets holders were treated to a spectacular half-hour air show after the third free practice session as well as a daredevil paramotoring show.
Organisers are expecting a capacity crowd on Sunday when the Official Race will take place at 5:00pm. Organisers on Saturday urged fans to arrive early at the venue. An array of activities are planned on the final day of the event including the third air show of the week just before the Official Race.