Max Verstappen starts on Sunday in third position at the Bahrain Grand Prix. The Red Bull Racing driver only had to put up with both Mercedes in front of him in qualifying on Saturday, which, as so often this season, occupied the front row of the grid.
Verstappen came from qualifying on the soft tire to a time of 1.27,678 in Q3. Lewis Hamilton took pole position for the 98th time in his career (1.27.264) and his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas clocked 1.27.553.
After the first run of Q3, Verstappen conceded only one tenth to Hamilton as number two. During the last run, that difference became somewhat larger and the Dutchman was overtaken by Bottas. The three drivers remained the only ones below 1.28 and all three will start on mediums on Sunday.
Behind Verstappen, who said about the on-board radio that he is not dissatisfied with the result, the top ten consists of Alexander Albon, Sergio Pérez, Daniel Ricciardo, Esteban Ocon, Pierre Gasly, Lando Norris and Daniil Kvyat.
Top 10 qualifying GP Bahrain
- 1. Lewis Hamilton – 1,27,264
- 2. Valtteri Bottas – 1.27,553
- 3. Max Verstappen – 1.27,678
- 4. Alexander Albon – 1,28,274
- 5. Sergio Pérez – 1,28,3322
- 6. Daniel Ricciardo – 1.28,417
- 7. Esteban Ocon – 1,28,419
- Pierre Gasly – 1,28,448
- Lando Norris – 1,28,542
- 10. Daniil Kvyat – 1,28,618
Red flag in Q2 after Sainz spin
Ferrari drivers Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc didn’t make it to the final session of qualifying, nor did Lance Stroll, George Russell and Carlos Sainz, who all stranded in Q2. The session was paused after a spin by Sainz, who could no longer get his car to work and could not set time.
Earlier on Saturday, Verstappen was the fastest in the final free practice, in which the conditions – it was still light and the temperature was higher – were different than in qualifying.
The Bahrain Grand Prix starts on Sunday at 3.10 p.m. Last year, Verstappen finished fourth behind Hamilton, Bottas and Leclerc.