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Verstappen takes pole for Qatar Grand Prix

Red Bull Racing's Dutch driver Max Verstappen (foreground) drives ahead of Ferrari's Spanish driver Carlos Sainz Jr. Photo: Karim Jaafar / AFP

Max Verstappen will start Sunday’s Qatar Grand Prix on pole position after the Red Bull driver finished fastest in qualifying on Friday.

The Dutchman could secure a third straight drivers’ world championship title on Saturday in the sprint race.

McLaren’s Lando Norris initially posted the second-quickest time, with his teammate Oscar Piastri fourth, but both had their lap times deleted for exceeding track limits and were demoted to 10th and sixth place on the grid respectively.

That promoted Mercedes’ George Russell to the front row.

Verstappen wrapped up his 10th pole of the season with a lap time of one minute and 23.778 seconds, 0.441 secs quicker than Russell, whose teammate Lewis Hamilton will start from third.

Fernando Alonso joins Hamilton on the second row.

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