VERSTAPPEN TAKES FIRST POLE POSITION OF THE SEASON AHEAD OF HAMILTON
Verstappen takes pole position for the 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix! Hamilton is second with Bottas in third.
Full qualifying results for the Bahrain Grand Prix at the Bahrain International Circuit, the opening round of the 2021 F1 world championship season.
2021 F1 BAHRAIN GRAND PRIX – QUALIFYING RESULTS
Max Verstappen delivered on Red Bull’s pre-season potential as he beat Lewis Hamilton to pole position for Formula 1’s Bahrain Grand Prix.
It marked the first time since 2013 that Red Bull has taken top spot on the grid for the first round of a season and secures back-to-back poles for Verstappen after his effort last December in Abu Dhabi.
Verstappen had topped all three practice sessions, having also led the way through testing at the same venue, and he continued his strong pace through qualifying.
Verstappen edged Hamilton by just 0.023s through the first runs beneath the lights in Bahrain but both improved on their second Q3 push laps.
Hamilton moved to the front with a time of 1:29.385s but Verstappen set a new benchmark on a 1:28.997, emerging 0.388s faster than the seven-time World Champion.
Valtteri Bottas finished third in the sister Mercedes.
Behind the leading trio AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly had fronted the midfield fight after the first runs and he even held a provisional third.
Gasly was ultimately shuffled down to fifth – itself a stellar outcome – as Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc finished just a tenth behind Bottas en route to fouth.
McLaren took sixth and seventh, with Daniel Ricciardo outqualifying team-mate Lando Norris, while Carlos Sainz was eighth on his first outing for Ferrari.
Fernando Alonso made it through to Q3 on his comeback weekend, taking ninth, with Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll rounding out the top 10.
Red Bull and AlphaTauri attempted to make it through Q2 on the Medium tyres but it backfired for one driver from each team.
Sergio Perez’s first Q2 push lap was scrubbed from the board after he exceeded track limits and his second effort, also on Mediums, was not quick enough.
He missed the Q3 cut-off by 0.035s and will start his first race for Red Bull from 11th spot.
Rookie Yuki Tsunoda shone in Q1 by classifying second but he was shuffled down to 13th in Q2.
Alfa Romeo displayed relatively year-on-year gains as Antonio Giovinazzi and Kimi Raikkonen legitimately challenged for Q3 before winding up 12th and 14th respectively.
George Russell converted his 2020 Saturday form as he once more performed one-lap heroics for Williams in managing to make it through to Q2.
Alpine and Aston Martin both had one car out in Q1 as Esteban Ocon and Sebastian Vettel were hampered by yellow flags in the closing moments.
Ocon classified 16th, with four-time champion Vettel 18th, split by Williams’ Nicholas Latifi.
The yellows were caused by two separate incidents, as Nikita Mazepin spun at Turn 1 while Sainz slowed exiting Turn 8 due to an engine cut-out.
For Mazepin it was his second spin of the 18-minute session after previously rotating the Haas VF-21 through Turn 13.
He qualified last, almost a second behind fellow rookie and team-mate Mick Schumacher, who took 19th for his debut, with Haas significantly off the pace.
verstappen pole position verstappen pole position
F1 BAHRAIN GP FP3 – VERSTAPPEN COMFORTABLY LEADS
IS 2021 MAX VERSTAPPEN’S YEAR? IS HE READY FOR A TITLE?
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