F1 2023
Round 18

Max Verstappen Took Pole Position for Qatar Grand Prix

qa Losail International Circuit

Round 18 of the season, Qatar Grand Prix is taking place at Losail International Circuit. Max Verstappen of Oracle Red Bull Racing, supported by Honda as a Team Partner, took pole position, and Sergio Perez was P13.

Max Verstappen Took Pole Position for Qatar Grand Prix

Scuderia AlphaTauri's Yuki Tsunoda was P11, and Liam Lawson was P18.

Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen 1
Oracle Red Bull Racing
I’m very happy to be on pole. The tarmac was quite slippery so I was really having to build up lap after lap, but I think we were in a good window and we were improving quite nicely through each run. I think we also made the right calls after FP1 heading into qualifying. Tomorrow will be interesting, with the different session times and temperatures, but let’s see what we can do. Overall though, I think we can all be happy with the performance of the car today.

Sergio Perez
Sergio Perez 11
Oracle Red Bull Racing
It was quite difficult out there today, we struggled for balance a lot and we had so many issues that I couldn’t really fix any of them. Every corner was different and the conditions here made it tricky. It is not over, it is obviously going to be very difficult to pass in the race here, especially with the track conditions we currently have but we will see what we are able to do and recover from there on Sunday. Tomorrow is a new day and we have the chance to put in a better performance across the Sprint format.

Yuki Tsunoda
Yuki Tsunoda 22
Scuderia AlphaTauri
I’m pleased with my performance. On such a high-speed corner track, it’s easy to exceed track limits, but so far, I haven’t, so I’m happy. It would’ve been good to be in Q3, so it’s not exactly the qualifying we wanted, but it’s still close to the points, so it’s okay. There are places I can improve on, but the car’s upgrades are working, so we’re feeling optimistic. There’s margin for improvement, and tomorrow is another day for qualifying, so I’m looking forward to it because it’s another chance to do better than today. The conditions were tricky today because the wind in FP1 was extreme but calmed down for qualifying, and the temperature dropped, so it was slightly easier to drive. The car turns differently in some corners from one lap to the next because of the wind, but it’s one of the track’s characteristics that makes it interesting and fun to drive.

Liam Lawson
Liam Lawson 40
Scuderia AlphaTauri
Today was tricky. Since we hit the track in FP1, I’ve been struggling with the car, and I know everybody was with the way the track was. I think we narrowed down the issues we experienced in practice, but not enough, and we still have things to look into. The track was quite dusty in FP1, but it cleaned up a lot for qualifying and was a lot better. The final laps felt good, but I was struggling with the handling of the car. There are some corners we need to look into to find more time because I didn’t have the confidence to really push and put it on the limit, but with the different format this weekend, there are definitely opportunities.

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