Max Verstappen wins the Qatar Grand Prix practice ahead of qualifying.

The Dutchman was 0.334 seconds faster than Carlos Sainz’s Ferrari, with Charles Leclerc’s second Ferrari third.

Fernando Alonso of Aston Martin finished fourth on the slower medium tyres. The three drivers in front were on soft tires.

Oscar Piastri and Lando Norris of McLaren finished ninth and tenth, respectively, on hard tyres.

George Russell finished seventh on medium tyres, while Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton finished 13th.

Despite what appeared to be a challenging session for Red Bull, Verstappen set the fastest time.

Verstappen had at least as many off-track incidents as any other driver, and he spent much of the practice in a lower position before his final run.

Verstappen will most likely win the title in Saturday’s sprint race if he does not lose six points or more to teammate Sergio Perez. A win is worth eight points, with the lowest point value being one for eighth place.

Sergio Perez, his teammate, surged from last to fifth with his soft-tyre run at the end of the session.

Yuki Tsunoda of Alpha Tauri was sixth fastest, ahead of Haas’ Nico Hulkenberg, Russell, and the McLarens.

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