BAHRAIN: In a thrilling F1 qualifying session at the Sakhir circuit, Max Verstappen claimed pole position for the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, beating his Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez to the top spot.
Verstappen on no. 21 position in F1 Grand Prix
Verstappen set a time of 1m 29.897s on his first Q3 run before improving it to a blistering 1m 29.708s on his next run, putting him 0.138s ahead of Perez and earning him his 21st career pole position.
The Ferraris of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz locked out the second row of the grid, with Leclerc ahead of his teammate despite not completing a second run in the pole position shootout.
Fernando Alonso continued his impressive run in his Aston Martin, securing P5 on the grid, ahead of George Russell and Lewis Hamilton in P6 and P7, respectively.
Lance Stroll battled his way to P8 on the grid, despite missing pre-season testing at Bahrain due to wrist injuries sustained in a training accident. Esteban Ocon and impressive F1 returnee Nico Hulkenberg rounded out the top ten.
McLaren’s Lando Norris narrowly missed out on getting through into Q3, putting his MCL60 11th on the grid ahead of the Alfa Romeo pair of Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu.
Yuki Tsunoda was the highest-placed AlphaTauri driver in P14. Meanwhile, Alex Albon got his Williams into Q2 but could not set a time and ended the second qualification session without setting a time.
F1 rookie Logan Sargeant narrowly missed out on a Q2 spot, setting an identical time to Norris towards the end of Q1, but was ultimately eliminated due to posting his time after the Brit.
Sargeant will start from 16th on the grid, ahead of Kevin Magnussen and fellow 2023 F1 newcomers Oscar Piastri and Nyck de Vries.
Pierre Gasly suffered a shock elimination in Q1 and will start P20 after invalidating his lap time during his first qualifying session with his new team Alpine.
The exciting qualification has set the stage for an exciting Bahrain Grand Prix, with Verstappen starting from the pole position and his teammate Perez alongside him on the grid.
Ferrari and Alonso will be looking to challenge the Red Bulls, while Mercedes will hope to recover from a disappointing qualifying performance.
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