Qatar Grand Prix: Oscar Piastri on sprint race pole, Max Verstappen third

Max Verstappen qualified only third for the sprint race in which he could clinch a third world title as McLaren’s Oscar Piastri took pole. The Australian rookie, demoted from fourth place in Qatar Grand Prix qualifying on Friday, beat team-mate Lando Norris by 0.082 seconds. Norris, narrowly fastest from Piastri after their first runs, was chasing Piastri’s new benchmark at the end of the session when he ran wide the last corner and had to settle for second. The sprint lasts for 19 laps and takes place amid concern about the Pirelli tyres. Restrictions were imposed ahead of sprint qualifying on Saturday after Pirelli discovered problems in the sidewalls of tyres that had done more than 20 laps on Friday.

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