F1 results: Max Verstappen dominates Qatar Grand Prix as McLaren duo of Oscar Piastri and Lando Norris join on podium

Drama unfolded in the Qatar Grand Prix before the lights even went out to begin the race.

Ferrari's Carlos Sainz was ruled out of the race due to a pre-race technical issue. Sainz had qualified 12th.

Fresh off winning his third world championship following Saturday's sprint, pole-sitter Max Verstappen got a clean launch off the line, but directly behind him the Mercedes' duo of George Russell and Lewis Hamilton made contact going into the first turn and skidded off. Russell was able to get going, but Hamilton lost a wheel and was forced to retire.

Following the restart, Verstappen drove off into the distance, with nary a challenge from McLaren's Oscar Piastri and Lando Norris, who finished second and third, respectively.

Prior to the grand prix, it was announced that teams would not be permitted to turn more than 18 laps on any tire, meaning this will be at least a three-stop race.

Coming in straight away after his incident with Hamilton, Russell embarked on a four-stop strategy that saw him make a strong recovery drive to P4 ahead of Charles Leclerc, who finished fifth.

Qatar Grand Prix results

  1. Max Verstappen (1), Red Bull-Honda RBPT

  2. Oscar Piastri (81), McLaren-Mercedes

  3. Lando Norris (14), McLaren-Mercedes

  4. George Russell (63), Mercedes

  5. Charles Leclerc (16), Ferrari

  6. Fernando Alonso (14), Aston Martin-Mercedes

  7. Esteban Ocon (31), Alpine-Renault

  8. Valtteri Bottas (77), Alfa Romeo-Ferrari

  9. Lance Stroll (18), Aston Martin-Mercedes

  10. Pierre Gasly (10), Alpine-Renault

  11. Sergio Perez (11), Red Bull-Honda RBPT

  12. Zhou Guanyu (24), Alfa Romeo-Ferrari

  13. Alexander Albon (23), Williams-Mercedes

  14. Kevin Magnussen (20), Haas-Ferrari

  15. Yuki Tsunoda (22), AlphaTauri-Honda RBPT

  16. Nico Hülkenberg, (27), Haas-Ferrari

  17. Liam Lawson (40), AlphaTauri-Honda RBPT

Not classified:
Logan Sargeant (2), Williams-Mercedes
Lewis Hamilton (44), Mercedes

Did not start:
Carlos Sainz (55), Ferrari

Qatar Grand Prix TV/streaming schedule

All times Eastern

9:25 - 10:30 a.m.: Free practice 1 (ESPN2, ESPN+, F1 TV Pro)
12:55 - 2 p.m.: Qualifying (ESPN2, ESPN+, F1 TV Pro)

8:55 - 10 a.m.: Sprint Shootout (ESPN2, ESPN+, F1 TV Pro)
1:25 - 2:30 p.m.: Sprint (ESPNNews, ESPN+, F1 TV Pro)

11:30 a.m. - 12:55 p.m.: Pre-race show (ESPN2, ESPN+, F1 TV Pro)
12:55 - 3 p.m.: Qatar Grand Prix (ESPN, ESPN+, F1 TV Pro)

Qatar Grand Prix details

Track: Lusail International Circuit, 3.637-mile, 16 turn permanent racing facility
Race length: 57 laps for 191.761 miles
Lap record: N/A (configuration changed from 2021 race)
Tire compounds: C1 (Hard), C2 (Medium), C3 (Soft)
2021 winner: Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes

Qatar Grand Prix qualifying results

  1. Max Verstappen (1), Red Bull-Honda RBPT

  2. George Russell (63), Mercedes

  3. Lewis Hamilton (44), Mercedes

  4. Fernando Alonso (14), Aston Martin-Mercedes

  5. Charles Leclerc (16), Ferrari

  6. Oscar Piastri (81), McLaren-Mercedes

  7. Pierre Gasly (10), Alpine-Renault

  8. Esteban Ocon (31), Alpine-Renault

  9. Valtteri Bottas (77), Alfa Romeo-Ferrari

  10. Lando Norris (4), McLaren-Mercedes

  11. Yuki Tsunoda (22), AlphaTauri-Honda RBPT

  12. Carlos Sainz (55), Ferrari

  13. Sergio Perez (11), Red Bull-Honda RBPT

  14. Alexander Albon (23), Williams-Mercedes

  15. Nico Hulkenberg, (27), Haas-Ferrari

  16. Logan Sargeant (2), Williams-Mercedes

  17. Lance Stroll (18), Aston Martin-Mercedes

  18. Liam Lawson (40), AlphaTauri-Honda RBPT

  19. Kevin Magnussen (20), Haas-Ferrari

  20. Zhou Guanyu (24), Alfa Romeo-Ferrari

Qatar Sprint results

  1. Oscar Piastri (81), McLaren-Mercedes

  2. Max Verstappen (1), Red Bull-Honda RBPT

  3. Lando Norris (14), McLaren-Mercedes

  4. George Russell (63), Mercedes

  5. Carlos Sainz (55), Ferrari

  6. Lewis Hamilton (44), Mercedes

  7. Charles Leclerc (16), Ferrari

  8. Alexander Albon (23), Williams-Mercedes

  9. Fernando Alonso (14), Aston Martin-Mercedes

  10. Pierre Gasly (10), Alpine-Renault

  11. Valtteri Bottas (77), Alfa Romeo-Ferrari

  12. Yuki Tsunoda (22), AlphaTauri-Honda RBPT

  13. Lance Stroll (18), Aston Martin-Mercedes

  14. Kevin Magnussen (20), Haas-Ferrari

  15. Zhou Guanyu (24), Alfa Romeo-Ferrari Not classified: Nico Hülkenberg, (27), Haas-Ferrari Esteban Ocon (31), Alpine-Renault Sergio Perez (11), Red Bull-Honda RBPT Logan Sargeant (2), Williams-Mercedes Liam Lawson (40), AlphaTauri-Honda RBPT

Daniel Ricciardo out for Qatar Grand Prix

AlphaTauri’s Daniel Ricciardo will miss a fifth straight grand prix with several fractures in his left hand — injuries he suffered during practice ahead of the Dutch Grand Prix on Aug. 25. Liam Lawson, as he has since the Dutch GP weekend, will pilot Ricciardo’s car.

ZANDVOORT, NETHERLANDS - AUGUST 25: Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and Scuderia Alpha Tauri after crashing during Free Practice 2 during practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of The Netherlands at Circuit Park Zandvoort on August 25, 2023 in Zandvoort, Netherlands. (Photo by Vince Mignott/MB Media/Getty Images)
Daniel Ricciardo injured his left hand in a practice crash before the Dutch Grand Prix in August and is yet to return. (Photo by Vince Mignott/MB Media/Getty Images)

Lawson has impressed during his substitution spell. He had an eventful Singapore Grand Prix weekend in just his third entry, knocking Verstappen out of qualifying in the second session and going on to finish ninth and notch two points. Ricciardo — who himself replaced Nyck de Vries just 10 races into the latter’s career — will return to AlphaTauri at some point, having inked a contract extension for 2024 last month.

Sprint weekend format returns

In 2021, F1 introduced the Sprint weekend format, which moved traditional qualifying to Friday and put in its place a shortened race that would award minimal points and set the grid for Sunday’s Grand Prix. A few nominal tweaks later, we have our current format for the 2023 season, which effectively makes Saturday more like an exhibition. This weekend marks the fourth of six sprint format weekends in 2023.

The 2023 format ditches the lame-duck Saturday morning practice session in favor of a quicker version of the traditional three-stage knockout qualifying format to set the grid for the sprint race later in the day. The top eight finishers of the sprint will be awarded points in descending order (eight for P1, seven for P2, six for P3).

Top drivers and best bets for the Qatar Grand Prix

While it remains to be seen if the overwhelming odds Verstappen enters every race weekend with will go down once he clinches the title, it is still in play and the Dutchman is -450 for the race win according to BetMGM. No other driver is better than 12-to-1.

Best odds to win
• Max Verstappen -450
• Lando Norris +1200
• Sergio Perez +1200
• Oscar Piastri +1800

Yahoo Sports’ Nick Bromberg wrote earlier in the week on the betting outlook and, in addition to Verstappen for the win, identified some intriguing props. With the Lusail Circuit favoring Red Bull’s strengths and reduced pressure on Perez, he likes the Mexican to finish on the podium at a -135 moneyline. Additionally, he recommends betting Mercedes to finish ahead of Ferrari (+100).

F1 world drivers’ championship standings

1. Max Verstappen (1), Red Bull-Honda RBPT – 400
2. Sergio Perez (11), Red Bull-Honda RBPT – 223
3. Lewis Hamilton (44), Mercedes – 190
4. Fernando Alonso (14), Aston Martin-Mercedes – 174
5. Carlos Sainz (55), Ferrari – 150
6. Charles Leclerc (16), Ferrari – 135
7. Lando Norris (4), McLaren-Mercedes – 115
8. George Russell (63), Mercedes – 115
9. Oscar Piastri (81), McLaren-Mercedes – 57
10. Lance Stroll (18), Aston Martin-Mercedes – 47
11. Pierre Gasly (10), Alpine-Renault – 46
12. Esteban Ocon (31), Alpine-Renault – 38
13. Alexander Albon (23), Williams-Mercedes – 21
14. Nico Hülkenberg, (27), Haas-Ferrari – 9
15. Valtteri Bottas (77), Alfa Romeo-Ferrari – 6
16. Zhou Guanyu (24), Alfa Romeo-Ferrari – 4
17. Yuki Tsunoda (22), AlphaTauri-Honda RBPT – 3
18. Kevin Magnussen (20), Haas-Ferrari – 3
19. Liam Lawson (40), AlphaTauri-Honda RBPT – 2
20. Logan Sargeant (2), Williams-Mercedes – 0
21. Nyck De Vries (21), AlphaTauri-Honda RBPT – 0
22. Daniel Ricciardo (3), AlphaTauri-Honda RBPT – 0

Qatar Grand Prix weather

It’s a good thing qualifying, the sprint and grand prix are all starting past 10 p.m. local time, because the daytime highs are forecast to be 103-107 degrees. Even with the hardest compound tires in the Pirelli range this has the feeling of a two-stop race between hot track temperatures, fast flowing corners and desert sand surrounding the facility, adding to the surface abrasion.