Lewis Hamilton admits to illness struggles after winning the Qatar Grand Prix pole ahead of Max Verstappen.

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After beating Max Verstappen to pole in the Qatar GP, Lewis Hamilton admits to illness struggles.

Lewis Hamilton will start the Qatar Grand Prix from pole position.

After beating championship leader Max Verstappen to pole position by 0.455s in the desert, Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton admits he wasn’t feeling well in the week leading up to the Qatar Grand Prix.

Hamilton is 14 points behind Verstappen entering the final three races of the season, with the Dutchman starting second on Sunday.

Hamilton dominated the final practice session in Qatar before setting the fastest lap in qualifying, despite a lot of focus off track on Mercedes’ rear wing as Red Bull questioned the legality of their car.

As the clock ticked down to the end of Q3, Hamilton was fortunate in that he left the pits earlier than his main competitors, with AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly suffering a puncture in the final sector, preventing any other drivers from going faster.

But, speaking afterward, Hamilton admitted that the build-up to the weekend hasn’t been easy.

“It was a particularly difficult day for me yesterday, and I wasn’t feeling well on Thursday and Friday,” Hamilton admitted.

“And so I really struggled through practice, and I was just off the day before, so I had to dig deep.”

“I was here until midnight last night working with the engineers, who always work late because they’re such hard workers, and I discovered a lot of areas where I could improve.”

“I made a lot of changes for P3 and they appeared to work.

Then there’s qualifying, but I’m grateful for the timings they gave us because there was no traffic.

“Then there was that last lap, which was stunning.

It was a fantastic lap.”

“I had a bit of a stomach ache from Wednesday, but I felt fantastic today,” Hamilton continued.

That makes a big difference because I slept well last night.

“It’s an incredible track to drive, with incredibly fast medium and high-speed corners.

“However, it was satisfying.”

On the front row, Verstappen will be joined by Hamilton, with Valtteri Bottas of Mercedes in third.

Verstappen’s Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez, on the other hand, was unable to qualify for the pole position shoot-out on Saturday, as he was sandwiched between two Mercedes.

“It just needs a little more oomph.”

“Qualifying was a little bit more difficult for us this time,” Verstappen said after qualifying.

“Checo isn’t even in Q3,” says the author.

“News from the Brinkwire.”

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