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F1 LIVE - Qatar Grand Prix Race: Max Verstappen has been handed a five-place grid penalty

Hello everyone and welcome along to our live blog for the 2021 Qatar Grand Prix, which is set to be a crucial race in this Formula 1 season. Max Verstappen leads the world championship, but Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes is on pole at the Losail International Circuit for the first ever F1 race here. It promises to be a thriller and we'll have all the updates for you on this race live blog.

F1 Qatar GP Race Live Coverage - Live text commentary and updates

This is the start of our Qatar Grand Prix live blog, with the most recent entries the ones nearest the top. So, follow along with us as we find out if Verstappen or Hamilton will come out on top in the desert!

12:25 BST: Grid penalties for Verstappen and Bottas!

There is drama before the cars even take to the grid, as Max Verstappen has been handed a five-place grid penalty and Valtteri Bottas has been given a three-place penalty. This is for not respecting yellow flags during qualifying and means that Pierre Gasly - whose puncture, ironically, brought out the yellow flags - starts on the front row.

11:45 BST: Hamilton delighted about gap to Verstappen

Lewis Hamilton didn't just take pole position on Saturday. He stormed to the front of the grid, with his time of 1:20.827 a lot quicker than Max Verstappen - 0.455 seconds quicker to be precise. "I definitely wasn't expecting to have as big a gap as that," Hamilton said afterwards.

11:20 BST: What is the Qatar GP starting grid?

It was Lewis Hamilton who took pole position on Saturday with a sensationally quick lap. Behind him is Max Verstappen in P2 and then teammate Valtteri Bottas in P3 on the clean side of the track. The full Qatar Grand Prix starting grid is as follows:

  1. Lewis Hamilton
  2. Max Verstappen
  3. Valtteri Bottas
  4. Pierre Gasly
  5. Fernando Alonso
  6. Lando Norris
  7. Carlos Sainz
  8. Yuki Tsunoda
  9. Esteban Ocon
  10. Sebastian Vettel
  11. Sergio Perez
  12. Lance Stroll
  13. Charles Leclerc
  14. Daniel Ricciardo
  15. George Russell
  16. Kimi Raikkonen
  17. Nicholas Latifi
  18. Antonio Giovinazzi
  19. Mick Schumacher
  20. Nikita Mazepin

11:10 BST: When does F1's Qatar GP start and where can you watch it?

This race is starting at 17:00 local time, which is 14:00 BST for fans in the United Kingdom, who can follow the race on Sky Sports. For those in the USA, the start time of the Qatar GP is 09:00 ET on the east coast and 06:00 PT on the west coast. In the USA, it's ESPN who'll be broadcasting the race.

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