news

MAX ON THIRD ROW, PIERRE P13 IN BAHRAIN

Highlights

  • Pierre eliminated in Q2 in P13
  • Max forced to make single run in Q3
  • Max makes the most of the chance with P5
  • Leclerc claims maiden pole ahead of Seb

Max will line up on row three of the grid for tomorrow’s Bahrain Grand Prix after he maximised a single run in Q3 to claim P5.

He qualified behind the Ferraris of maiden pole position winner Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel and the Mercedes cars of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.

Pierre, though, had a tricky session and will line up on row seven of the grid after qualifying in P13.

At the start of the session Ferrari were quickly to the fore in Q1 with Leclerc setting the pace thanks to a lap of 1:28.495. Vettel slotted into P2, 0.238s behind his team-mate, while Valtteri Bottas took third place, though he was a full second adrift of Leclerc.

Max found his way to P6 with his first run of the session, with a lap of 1:29.579. Pierre, though, could only manage P11 with his opening run, which netted a time of 1:30.255.

Max then dropped to P7 as Hamilton’s final Q1 lap of 1:29.262 moved him to third place and with the team electing to Keep Max in the garage during the final runs, he eventually made it through to Q2 with his opening time.

Pierre needed a second run to ensure progress and the Frenchman eventually made his way into the second session with a time of 1:29.900. That was good enough for P14 ahead of Alfa’s Kimi Räikkönen.

In a tight battle, in which P6 to P15 were covered by just half a second, there was no escape for Alfa’s Antonio Giovinazzi who was the first man eliminated in P16. The Italian was bounced out ahead of surprise casualty Nico Hulkenberg of Renault, Racing Point’s Lance Stroll and the Williams cars of George Russell and Robert Kubica.

At the top of the table Leclerc’s opening time kept him in P1 ahead of Vettel with Hamilton third ahead of Lando Norris of McLaren and Bottas.

Leclerc again led the way in the first runs of Q2, setting a time of 1:28.046, which put him more than four tenths of a second clear of Hamilton, with Bottas in third.

Max slotted into fifth place with a lap of 1:29.143, ahead of Vettel who made a mistake in Turn 10 and was forced to run again.

Pierre, meanwhile, was down in P12, with a lap of 1:29.526. And in the final runs the Frenchman couldn’t find the pace to break out of the Q2 drop zone. Thus, Pierre will start in P13 behind P11 man Daniel Ricciardo of Renault and 12th placed Albon. Behind Pierre, Sergio Perez was eliminated in P14 ahead of the second Toro Rosso of Daniil Kvyat.

The need for an extra run in Q2 meant Vettel was restricted to the Ferrari garage for the first run in Q3. That left the door open for Leclerc and the Monegasque driver took top spot with a time identical to that with which Vettel claimed pole position in 2018.

The gauntlet was laid down, therefore, and Vettel was the first of the Ferraris on track for the final runs. Despite running his team-mate close through S1, the lap went away from the German over the two remaining sectors and he could only claim P2 with a time of 1:28.160.

Hamilton edged close to the front row with his final run, but in the end he had to settle for third place, three hundredths of a second behind Vettel.

Leclerc, though, was going even quicker than on his opener and he eventually claimed his maiden pole, and the first ever for a driver from Monaco, with a new track record of 1:27.866.

Max was also forced to make a single run in Q3 but he didn’t fluff the chance and claimed P5 behind Bottas with a time of 1:28.752.

Haas’ Kevin Magnussen finished in P6 ahead of McLaren’s Carlos Sainz and the second Haas of Romain Grosjean. Kimi Räikkönen was ninth for Alfa Romeo and the top 10 was rounded out by McLaren’s Lando Norris.

Top 10 - Qualifying - Bahrain Grand Prix:

1. Charles Leclerc
2. Sebastian Vettel
3. Lewis Hamilton
4. Valtteri Bottas
5. MAX VERSTAPPEN
6. Kevin Magnussen
7. Carlos Sainz
8. Romain Grosjean
9. Kimi Raikkonen
10. Lando Norris

13. PIERRE GASLY