Lewis Hamilton had to overcome ‘stomach ache’ before sealing Qatar pole with ‘beautiful’ lap

Lewis Hamilton admitted he had to overcome a stomach ache before sealing a dominant pole position for the Qatar Grand Prix with a ‘beautiful’ lap.

The Brit took pole by nearly half a second in qualifying as title rival Max Verstappen, 14 points ahead of Hamilton in the driver’s standings, was 0.455 seconds behind in second place.

Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas was third, 0.196 seconds, behind Verstappen.

Elsewhere in qualifying there was a huge shock as Verstappen’s Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez was knocked out in Q2, placing him 11th on the grid for the race tomorrow.

However, Hamilton’s final lap in qualifying was blistering as he sealed pole position but he admitted afterwards he had a difficult time yesterday due to being ill and was working late into the night to get things right.

Pole position qualifier Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP talks to the media in parc ferme
(
Hamad I Mohammed – Pool/Getty Images)

“Yesterday was a really difficult day for me,” he said.

“Thursday and Friday I wasn’t feeling too well – I had a bit of stomach ache.

“I was off [the pace] yesterday so really had to dig deep. I was here until midnight working late.

“We found a lot of areas I could improve, made some changes for final practice and it seemed to work.

“You have to try and carry that through into qualifying. We didn’t have any traffic and that last lap was beautiful. This track is amazing to drive – all medium and fast corners.”

Following his own performance in qualifying Verstappen said: “Just lacking a bit of pace. It has been just a bit more tricky for us again in qualifying, you could even see that – Checo [Perez] is not even in Q3 so you can see were are struggling a bit more than normal. Still second, so it is all to play for still.”

Elsewhere in qualifying Alpha Tauri’s Pierre Gasly finished fourth ahead of Alpine’s Fernando Alonso.

McLaren’s Lando Norris was sixth a place ahead of Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz.

What did you make of Lewis Hamilton’s performance? Let us know in the comments below

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain in action during qualifying session in Lusail, Qatar
(
AP Photo/Darko Bandic)

The Qatar GP grid in full

  • 1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

  • 2. Max Verstappen (Red Bull)

  • 3. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes)

  • 4. Pierre Gasly (Alpha Tauri)

  • 5. Fernando Alonso (Alpine)

  • 6. Lando Norris (McLaren)

  • 7. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari)

  • 8. Yuki Tsunoda (Alpha Tauri)

  • 9. Esteban Ocon (Alpine)

  • 10. Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin)

  • 11. Sergio Perez (Red Bull)

  • 12. Lance Stroll (Aston Martin)

  • 13. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)

  • 14. Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren)

  • 15. George Russell (Williams)

  • 16. Kimi Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo)

  • 17. Nicholas Latifi (Williams)

  • 18. Antonio Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo)

  • 19. Mick Schumacher (Haas)

  • 20. Nikita Mazepin (Haas)

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