Max Verstappen claims pole for the Bahrain Grand Prix

Max Verstappen claims pole for the Bahrain Grand Prix

Max Verstappen overpowered Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc to claim pole position for the Bahrain Grand Prix race following a simmering qualifying session on Friday.

Although Verstappen did not improve on his Q2 time, he was already on the provisional pole following his first run in Q3, therefore he would probably still have a lap time to find on his final effort in qualifying.

That proved to be the case when he lowered his personal best to 1m29.179s. While this was still a little bit slower than Leclerc’s lap that topped the Q2 field, it was still sufficient for the three-time world champion to start Saturday’s Bahrain Grand Prix from pole.

Mercedes driver George Russell handed the Silver Arrows a start on the second row after placing third, with Carlos Sainz placing two Ferraris in the top four after falling exactly a tenth behind teammate Leclerc.

Throughout qualifying, the gap between Verstappen and teammate Sergio Perez fluctuated, but Perez, who started the race with Red Bull in the leading two spots last year, was only able to secure a fifth, three and a half tenths behind the Dutchman.

Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso ‘ran in the gap’ in the third qualifying round with just one push lap completed at a largely empty track during mid-session, finishing sixth, 0.005s behind Perez.

McLaren locked out the fourth row with Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri qualifying in seventh and eighth respectively. Meanwhile, Friday’s front-runner Lewis Hamilton was within a quarter of a second of teammate Russell, which was a disappointing performance as he only finished ninth for Mercedes.

While Nico Hulkenberg was sixth in Q2, he failed to use fresh tyres and had to settle for 10th place. Hulkenberg had made an impression by leading a Haas that had been predicted would struggle greatly at the beginning of the season into Q3.

Yuki Tsunoda and Daniel Ricciardo both missed out on a Q3 position, as RB’s VCARB 01 didn’t quite live up to pre-season hype. Tsunoda outran his more seasoned teammate, finishing just 0.007s behind Piastri for the final position in Q3 after trailing Ricciardo in every practice session.

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Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll finished the second round four tenths behind Alonso in 12th while Alex Albon of Williams finished a tenth and a half adrift in 13th.

Kevin Magnussen avoided a first-segment exit by making a last-ditch effort in Q1, but he didn’t make any significant progress in Q2, finishing almost seven-tenths behind Hulkenberg and sealed the Q2 order.

The two green Saubers were the first to exit in Q1, with Valtteri Bottas finishing 0.001 seconds faster than his third-year teammate Zhou Guanyu. Coming into their last laps, Zhou was ahead of Bottas; however, he was left to regret a huge, race-stealing snap through the last curve on his final push lap.

Alex Albon handed Williams teammate Logan Sargeant a familiar qualifying exit as a difference of over four-tenths was enough to eliminate the American in the first round. After their first few efforts, Sargeant was just a tenth behind Albon, but unlike the Thai racer, he was unable to put together a strong second lap and dropped to 18th place.

French manufacturer’s miserable 2024 campaign continued with a last-row lockout. Pierre Gasly bemoaned a hurried outlap en route to 20th place, while Esteban Ocon could only comfort his squad with a “only round one” statement after clocking the 19th-fastest time.

2024 F1 Bahrain Grand Prix Qualifying Results

1Max VerstappenNEDOracle Red Bull Racing1m30.031s1m29.374s1m29.179s
2Charles LeclercMONScuderia Ferrari1m30.243s1m29.165s1m29.407s
3George RussellGBRMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team1m30.350s1m29.932s1m29.485s
4Carlos SainzESPScuderia Ferrari1m29.909s1m29.573s1m29.507s
5Sergio PerezMEXOracle Red Bull Racing1m30.221s1m29.922s1m29.537s
6Fernando AlonsoESPAston Martin Aramco F1 Team1m30.179s1m29.801s1m29.542s
7Lando NorrisGBRMcLaren F1 Team1m30.143s1m29.941s1m29.614s
8Oscar PiastriAUSMcLaren F1 Team1m30.531s1m30.122s1m29.683s
9Lewis HamiltonGBRMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team1m30.451s1m29.718s1m29.710s
10Nico HulkenbergGERMoneyGram Haas F1 Team1m30.566s1m29.851s1m30.502s
11Yuki TsunodaJPNVisa Cash App RB F1 Team1m30.481s1m30.129s 
12Lance StrollCANAston Martin Aramco F1 Team1m29.965s1m30.200s 
13Alex AlbonTHAWilliams Racing1m30.397s1m30.221s 
14Daniel RicciardoAUSVisa Cash App RB F1 Team1m30.562s1m30.278s 
15Kevin MagnussenDENMoneyGram Haas F1 Team1m30.646s1m30.529s 
16Valtteri BottasFINStake F1 Team Kick Sauber1m30.756s  
17Zhou GuanyuCHNStake F1 Team Kick Sauber1m30.757s  
18Logan SargeantUSAWilliams Racing1m30.770s  
19Esteban OconFRABWT Alpine F1 Team1m30.793s  
20Pierre GaslyFRABWT Alpine F1 Team1m30.948s  

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