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Bahrain Qualifying - F1 Stars Reveal Highs and Lows

Bahrain Qualifying – F1 Stars Reveal Highs and Lows

01/03/2024

Max Verstappen grabs the Bahrain Grand Prix pole, matching legends Prost and Clark with 33 poles, after a qualifying lap that saw a smaller lead than before. The champion faced a challenging session, yet clinched an “unexpected” top spot.

Verstappen: A ‘Difficult’ Qualification and an ‘Unexpected’ Pole

Bahrain Qualifying F1 Drivers

Max Verstappen clinched the pole position at the Bahrain Grand Prix, tying with Alain Prost and Jim Clark at 33, with a successful qualifying lap that, however, seemed to yield a smaller lead than the previous year. The three-time world champion acknowledged a somewhat challenging qualifying session on the track.

“It was fun; the track had a lot of grip, but it was tough with the wind to get a clean lap. We were getting faster in Q1 and Q2, but in Q3, it was hard to put everything together. Being on pole was somewhat unexpected, but it suited us well as the session progressed,” Verstappen remarked.

The RB20 has made progress through increasingly precise adjustments, as he detailed: “I mentioned yesterday that we needed to fine-tune some aspects of the car to achieve balance. We moved in the right direction and were able to push a bit harder with the car for qualifying.”

The Dutchman focused more on race pace but is mindful of the competition: “The race will be tight too. We’re often fast in races, which is most important, but we’ll see tomorrow. I’m confident we can have a good race.”

Leclerc ‘a Bit Disappointed’ Despite ‘Better Pace’ Than in 2023

Bahrain Qualifying F1 Drivers

Charles Leclerc didn’t hide his ambition to challenge Max Verstappen for the pole position in Bahrain. The Ferrari driver lamented not being able to secure first place but was pleased with his progress in understanding the SF-24 throughout the weekend.

“A bit disappointed, we had a good qualifying. The weekend was tricky; we tried things in EL1, EL2, and EL3. We found good settings in the qualifiers, Q1 was difficult, and we used two sets of new soft tires, which compromised Q3. But we have a better pace than last year, so we’ll see tomorrow,” Leclerc stated.

The Monegasque finds real satisfaction in his Q2 lap, matching Verstappen’s time towards the end of the session: “In Q2, I think I matched Max’s time in Q3, so we need to find pace in Q3, but overall it’s positive.”

Now, Ferrari aims to chase victory or at least contend with Verstappen as long as possible. Leclerc anticipates a significant advantage for his rival.

“I’m confident we can make a step forward. We’ll see how big a step we’ve made. Red Bull is ahead in the race, but if there’s an opportunity, as usual, I’ll grab it and see what I can do.”

Sainz ‘Couldn’t Find’ the Usual Three Tenths in Q3

Bahrain Qualifying F1 Drivers

Carlos Sainz expressed disappointment at not managing better than fourth in the Bahrain Grand Prix qualifications. The Ferrari driver was surprised at failing to find an additional three tenths in the final part of qualifying.

“We need to look into it; after Q2, I was confident, thinking we could break into the 1 minute 29s, but we couldn’t find the three tenths in Q3, as we often do,” the Spaniard noted.

“We need to analyze it carefully, but besides that, we’ve been solid all weekend, in the top 4 of a very tight field, so we can be proud and look forward to tomorrow.”

He even hopes to compete with Sergio Pérez and the rest. But like George Russell before him, Sainz is convinced that catching up to Verstappen will not be feasible.

“Checo will start behind with a new tire, so he’ll be tough to beat. For everyone else, we can compete. Max is on a different pace from the rest, but we’ll give everything to have the best pace possible.”

Russell: It’s Tight With Everyone Except Verstappen

Bahrain Qualifying F1 Drivers

George Russell secured the third-fastest time in the Bahrain Grand Prix qualifications, and the Mercedes F1 driver was keen to thank his team. Following this session, he anticipates Max Verstappen and Red Bull dominating tomorrow’s race but is pleased with the progress his team has made.

“The folks at the factory have done a great job making us feel more comfortable with the car. Yet, Max is still ahead. Looking at our qualifications and pace over the last two years in Bahrain, starting third is a good result,” Russell commended.

“We’ve done a lot of work, we have great drivers working back at the factory in the simulator to make progress. Tomorrow will tell if we’ve made a significant step forward in qualifications without compromising race pace. It’ll be tight with everyone, except with Max.”

“I think Red Bull is very strong, and Max is doing a great job. If there’s a chance to lead, I’ll take it, but our race will be for second place. But you never know, it’s the first race of the season, and I’m happy to be back.”

Hamilton Optimistic Despite Qualifying Ninth: Radical Setups Could Turn the Tide

Bahrain Qualifying F1 Drivers

Lewis Hamilton qualified ninth but isn’t overly concerned. The seven-time world champion experimented with more radical setups and hopes they will pay off in tomorrow’s race.

“It was a fun session! Not the result I wanted, but it was good,” Hamilton remarked.

“I’m not surprised; I’m taking risks, I chose a direction with my settings that wasn’t right, but I hope it’ll be right for the race.”

Eager to share more about the start of the season, he admits, “it wasn’t great. But I was really excited to be here.”

“I think George’s position and pace are really impressive and a true testament to the team’s work, how everyone worked over the winter. It’s incredible to have a car we can fight with.”

“It really lights a fire in us, the drivers. For me, Bono, and everyone did a great job, and I just struggled in qualifying today.”

“Yesterday was really good. George and I were on the same settings, but he went left, and I went right. Right definitely wasn’t good for a single lap, but I felt more comfortable with more fuel, so I hope that reflects tomorrow.”

“I definitely sacrificed more than I hoped, and I hope it pays off tomorrow. There’ll be a lot of work to do to pass all those fast cars in front of me, but it’ll be fun.”

Alonso Didn’t Expect to Be So Quick With Aston Martin F1

Bahrain Qualifying F1 Drivers

Fernando Alonso might have been the surprise of the Bahrain qualifications, with his Aston Martin F1 AMR24 turning out to be much more competitive than anticipated.

The Spaniard was competing in the times of Ferrari, Mercedes F1, or McLaren and is 6th on the grid, less than four-tenths from the pole.

“I feel good; I didn’t expect to be so competitive. The winter tests went well, but we weren’t at the pace of the leaders.”

“Our three free practices were competitive, but we also saw last year that we were running in a different engine mode from qualifications. Being in the mix and in the same tenths as Ferrari was completely unexpected for us.”

“As for whether we can get another podium place like last year… let’s wait and see! If you had asked me last week, I would have said it was 100% impossible, but now I can’t say that, so it’s good news.”

Stroll Confident Despite Q2 Traffic Elimination

For Lance Stroll, it was an elimination in Q2 due to traffic on his last lap, according to him. He will start 12th.

“The car was good in Q1 and Q2, but I had some traffic, and it cost me Q3, I think. I couldn’t extract more, but that’s racing; I was fast, and that satisfies me. It’s a shame it cost me quite a few tenths, but the race pace is good for tomorrow.”

Perez Keeps Smiling from 5th on the Grid with an Easier RB20 for Him

Bahrain Qualifying F1 Drivers

Sergio Perez was three-tenths behind Max Verstappen in the Bahrain Grand Prix qualifications, and while in many instances last season this would have sufficed for second place, the Mexican finds himself in 5th. He thus has work ahead if he aims for the podium.

Nonetheless, Verstappen’s pole indicates the RB20’s performance. Not just in long runs, but also in qualifications.

“Yes, definitely. It’s been a positive day for the team. We’ve struggled to extract time on a single fast lap, but this improved as qualifications progressed, as Max said.”

“From my side, I missed turn 1, losing a tenth, which was probably enough to miss out on 2nd or 3rd place.”

“It was also unfortunate to have used a second set of tires in Q2 unnecessarily. We ended up aborting, but that’s already a worn tire. Regardless, there’s much to look forward to tomorrow.”

What’s the biggest difference with the RB19, according to Perez?

“I’d say it’s the stability on corner entry. That’s a step forward. It’s obviously still a Red Bull car, but I think that’s where we’ve made a good step, and it suits me better.”

Perez spent dozens of hours in the simulator last winter to get a better feel for the Red Bull. As a result, he feels more confident and comfortable than in 2023.

“Yes, definitely. I think we’ve started the season well. Today’s result might not show it for me, but it’s just about putting everything together. We’re in a good position for tomorrow, you know, having that flexibility with the softs, the right tires for tomorrow.”

“The battle is really tight with the others. So, let’s see tomorrow. I think tomorrow we’ll all learn a lot more. So, it’s important to finish the race, the race distance, and then learn from that for the future.”

McLaren F1: A Fourth Row That Brings ‘Mixed Feelings’

Lando Norris clocked the seventh-fastest time in the Bahrain Grand Prix qualifications, but he believes he could have done better. The McLaren F1 driver feels he lost nearly three-tenths, which would have easily put him on the second row.

“I made mistakes in turns 1 and 4, so my first sector was probably three-tenths off what it should have been,” the British driver lamented. “If I had managed to improve by a tenth, that would have meant four positions.”

“So, mixed feelings because the car was getting better and better throughout qualifying, especially when the wind calmed down, the car came to life, and things went well, it was nice to drive.”

“I just didn’t do what I should have. If you had told me we could be second before this weekend, I would have been surprised. But it was possible, so that’s a good thing for us as a team.”

Asked about his expectations for the race, the Briton is confident of showcasing some good performances with an MCL38 that should be more comfortable on Sunday than Saturday: “I’ve been told it’s going to be warmer tomorrow, so that’s something I’m not looking forward to.”

“I haven’t done more than 12 or 13 consecutive laps because we’ve had some issues during practice. We’ve learned a lot from my stints yesterday, I’ve learned a lot too, the pace is good, and we saw last year our race pace was strong in most conditions.”

Piastri Faces Challenges, Optimistic for Season

Bahrain Qualifying F1 Drivers

Oscar Piastri will join his teammate on the eighth row of the grid, and the Australian hasn’t found the ease from FP2 when attacking with the MCL38.

“It was a tricky session. I’ve struggled throughout the session, the car doesn’t feel like last night, and we need to understand why. It’s tight, I think we’re about in the right group, but it’s tight,” Piastri noted.

“I don’t think Red Bull is as fast as everyone feared, either. I hope this kicks off an interesting year; we’re happier than where we were last year. It was a tough session, but we’ll see.”

Alpine F1: A ‘Lack of Speed’ Relegates to ‘Back of the Grid’

Bahrain Qualifying F1 Drivers

Alpine F1’s qualifying session was profoundly disappointing, with Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly recording the two slowest times. Although the gaps were not enormous, at eight-tenths and 1 second respectively off the best time of Q1, the result is a significant setback.

“We lack speed, which is what we observed during the practices. But that doesn’t change the fact that there’s a race ahead, and I think we’re closer over the long runs. We need to stay close to the others, and that suits us better,” Ocon told Canal+.

“We’ll have new tires, those ahead will have less, so it remains an interesting race. But fundamentally, we’re not where we want to be. We need to make progress, the whole team is motivated, I have confidence in their abilities, and I hope we’ll turn things around this year.”

The Frenchman aims to play a leadership role to help his team rebuild: “Of course, it’s important that we all stay united to find solutions.”

“Even if we’re at the back of the grid, it’s very tight, and tenths can gain positions. So we mustn’t give up, every department in Viry and Enstone, we must continue to give our all, and that’s what we’ll do.”

“It’s hard to see ourselves at the back of the grid”

In the other A524, Gasly isn’t surprised to see his team so far back: “We knew it would be tough, especially towards the end on the last run in Q1 where I found myself attacking hard on the out lap because we weren’t going to make the chequered flag, and I start in Pérez’s slipstream, which isn’t ideal.”

“But that’s where we are, we know it, and we had anticipated it. It’s a shame because given the gaps, it would have been tight to get into Q2. We didn’t do very well in the second run, but we’ll do everything to progress.”

The French driver hopes that Alpine will be able to improve, and he confirms that during the tests, it was evident they would be the last force on the grid. While it’s not pleasant, he maintains an optimistic discourse like Ocon.

“It’s never pleasant, but we had anticipated it. Since the tests, we saw it coming. We have difficulties with the car; it doesn’t respond as we want, but we must do the best with what we have. It’s hard to see ourselves at the back of the grid, but nothing is lost.”

Hülkenberg Kicks Off with a Minor Miracle, Haas F1 Eyes Points

Bahrain Qualifying F1 Drivers

This Friday in Bahrain, during the qualifying rounds, Nico Hülkenberg once again dazzled with his Haas F1: the German kicked off the year with a Q3 appearance!

Securing the 10th spot in the qualifiers, the Haas driver (who didn’t utilize new tires in Q3), can he maintain his position tomorrow, in the race? Or will his Haas falter, unable to sustain its tires, as in 2023?

“Last year, our pace in qualifying was a strong point. Towards the end of last year, I managed to make it into Q3 a few times.”

“During the winter tests, we didn’t run any low fuel stints. Yesterday was the first time. I felt there was potential. It seems we haven’t lost it, but we need to address the issue we have on Sundays, we want to break free from our poor Grand Prix dynamics. Obviously, this is the most critical point for us this season, and it was our sole focus during the tests. Tomorrow will be the first real test – merciless. We have adjusted the car, the aerodynamic characteristics from last year that were really bad, especially on long stints. There’s a lot of learning happening, regarding tire management, in the background.”

Magnussen Disappointed, Hopes for Progress in Race

Kevin Magnussen, as too often last year, ended up disappointing. The Dane made it to Q2 but could only secure the 15th spot. Over seven-tenths of a second separated him from his teammate in Q2: a gap far too wide.

“As far as I’m concerned, I can’t be satisfied, I didn’t deliver a good lap. The silver lining is that we feel we’ve made progress with the car, so I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s race.”

“I know our race pace is decent and we can be more competitive, which should be the case, and if so, it will be a very different situation from last year, where we were only falling back on Sundays. Honestly, I’m disappointed with today, but I’m eager for Saturday.”

Komatsu and Steiner Praise Haas Performance

Ayao Komatsu, the team director, starts with a pleasant surprise: yet all his concerns, or hopes, remain focused on the long-run pace.

“We thought that if we did a good job, we could make it into Q2 – we achieved that, so I’m very pleased. What a lap from Nico in Q2 to get into Q3! I’m very happy. In Q3, we had, let’s say, a calm mindset knowing we’re not racing against Mercedes or McLaren tomorrow, so we saved a new set of tires for Nico for Saturday, giving us the best chance.”

“I’d like to think we can put into practice tomorrow all the things we’ve learned during the pre-season tests and in the long fuel runs yesterday. The goal is to score points.”

Steiner Happy for Nico Hülkenberg and Haas

Present in the paddock, serving as a consultant for RTL, Günther Steiner, the former team director, watched Nico Hülkenberg’s Q3 performance in Bahrain without any bitterness or nostalgia.

“Absolutely, I’m very happy for the guys, and for Nico.”

“He’s one of the best, if not the best, drivers in qualifying. He just performs at this level.”

“It’s good for the Haas guys. They work hard, and they deserve it.”

RB F1 Misses Q3 but Tsunoda ‘Maximized’ His Qualifying

RB F1 did not reach Q3 at the Bahrain Grand Prix, but Yuki Tsunoda came very close with 11th place, just missing the final part of qualifying. He regrets not making it but is pleased with his performance.

“I’m very happy with the progress compared to yesterday, I was struggling, and I’m still in the process of understanding the car, but we maximized the session and it got better and better. It’s a shame not to go to Q3 but I’m happy with my performance,” notes the Japanese driver.

Tsunoda now hopes to chase points tomorrow: “In the race, everything counts and we have prepared a lot, and we need to drive cleanly. We’re in a good situation, the car is good on long runs so I’m confident.”

Ricciardo Was Not Happy with His Laps

Daniel Ricciardo was last in Q2 but less than two-tenths from Q3. The Australian driver is not overly concerned as he believes he can make progress soon, even though he didn’t manage a clean lap.

“It was possible but it wasn’t easy. It’s not like I could do another run and say I would’ve gained three-tenths. There were cars where I couldn’t extract the maximum in certain corners,” Ricciardo said.

“I was improving in some and missing others, and there wasn’t a moment when I crossed the line happy with my lap. I don’t feel the car when at the limit, but the weekend is going well, we’re getting into the rhythm and understanding the car.”

He hasn’t given up on finishing in the top 10 tomorrow: “Points are a realistic goal, we have other cars to overtake but it’s doable. And after a disappointing quali, I’d like to drive now so I’m going to bed early to make tomorrow come quicker!”

Albon is ‘frustrated’ to narrowly miss Q3 with Williams F1

Alex Albon was eliminated in Q2 at Bahrain, just a few hundredths away from Q3. He acknowledges his wish to have made it but reminds that this already exceeds his initial goals, even though he admits scoring points will be challenging.

“I’m quite pleased; it’s two positions higher than we expected, but when you’re a tenth away from Q3, you hope to do better. There’s a bit of frustration because we have performance in the car but can’t quite unlock it. Overall, it’s positive since we have pace, we just need to unlock it,” Albon states.

“There are five teams ahead, all with good qualifying and race pace, faster than us. It’s the start of the season, so retirements can happen, but we’ll be fighting against RB F1 and if we last the entire race, we might aim for points.”

Logan Sargeant was eliminated in Q1 and laments not being able to find as optimal conditions on his second lap as on his first: “It’s a shame, the first lap was just a few hundredths from advancing and showed the potential we had.”

“The track evolved and I couldn’t get the tyres up to temperature, and I’m confused about what happened. The first lap was good but not the second, and I need to understand why.”

However, the American remains hopeful for a good race showing: “Our race pace was better than with low fuel, so I hope to make progress and see what I can do.”

Stake F1 Faces Double Elimination in Q1

Stake F1’s debut was far from spectacular as both C44s were knocked out in Q1 during the Bahrain qualifiers.

Valtteri Bottas missed entering Q2 by a mere tenth of a second, starting 16th.

Did the C44 really not deserve a spot in Q2?

“It’s no secret we’re not where we expected to be today. Unfortunately, we lacked a bit of one-lap performance. We already saw in FP3, earlier today, that making it past the Q2 threshold would be challenging, as the competition is incredibly tight.”

“In terms of setup, we opted to prioritize race pace over qualifying pace, hoping it pays off tomorrow. We’ll be fine-tuning our package overnight, trying to extract a bit more before the race.”

Zhou Reflects on Challenging Qualifying Session

Guanyu Zhou, only a tenth behind his teammate, also failed to make it to Q2. He admits to struggling with the C44’s setup before the Parc Ferme rules came into effect.

“Sadly, we didn’t achieve the result we hoped for today. It’s been a tricky and inconsistent weekend for us so far, and we’ve struggled to find the optimal settings over the last two days. We knew qualifying pace might be an issue, and making it to Q3 would be tough, but we expected to be more competitive. Even though my lap wasn’t perfect, extracting another tenth would have been challenging. While it’s not the start to the season we wanted, we need to focus on improving our performance.”

“Now, it’s about analyzing the data, understanding our package better, and making a step forward in the race and the upcoming weekends. Tomorrow is another day, and we’re giving it our all.”

Alunni Bravi Reflects on Tight Midfield Battle

Team representative Alessandro Alunni Bravi acknowledges the team’s disappointment and is also stunned by the narrow margins in the midfield.

“The year’s first session always provides a reality check on the actual performance of the teams: what we’ve seen tonight is that, once again, the competition around us will be extremely tight, and a tenth can make all the difference. It’s disappointing that no car made it to Q2. We know we need to improve our one-lap performance, but we also know a small gain could put us in contention for much higher positions – two tenths could bring us closer to the top ten.”

“We must focus on the work ahead, starting tomorrow, when we need to maximize our race pace: it’s a long season, and we’ll have opportunities to improve the car and take a step further towards achieving our goals for this year, together.”

F1 Bahrain Qualifying F1 Drivers 2024

In the heat of the Bahrain qualifying, F1 drivers disclosed their respective challenges and triumphs, highlighting the unpredictable nature of the session. Revealing their experiences, the competitors in the F1 qualifying in Bahrain shared insights into their highs and lows. Amidst the intensity, insights from the Bahrain F1 qualifying were provided by the drivers, each narrating their unique struggles and victories. The narratives from Bahrain’s F1 qualifying saw drivers open up about the

rollercoaster of emotions they faced. Reflecting on the session, the participants in Bahrain’s qualifying round offered a glimpse into their moments of success and adversity. As the qualifying rounds in Bahrain unfolded, F1 drivers spoke candidly about their journey through the sessions. Diving into the details, drivers from the F1 Bahrain qualifying shared their personal stories of resilience and challenge.

Bahrain Qualifying F1 Drivers 2024

From their perspective, the Bahrain F1 qualifiers became a revealing stage for drivers to express their highs and lows. Throughout the qualifying event in Bahrain, the F1 drivers provided a vivid recount of their experiences. The session, as described by the drivers participating in the F1 qualifying in Bahrain, was a testament to the unpredictable and thrilling nature of motorsport. Diving into the details, drivers from the F1 Bahrain qualifying shared their personal stories of resilience and challenge.

From their perspective, the Bahrain F1 qualifiers became a revealing stage for drivers to express their highs and lows. Throughout the qualifying event in Bahrain, the F1 drivers provided a vivid recount of their experiences. The session, as described by the drivers participating in the F1 qualifying in Bahrain, was a testament to the unpredictable and thrilling nature of motorsport.

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