Red Bull have picked up where they left off last season to lockout the front row for tomorrow’s Bahrain Grand Prix with Max Verstappen qualifying for pole ahead of Sergio Perez for the Bahrain Grand Prix
The first Grand Prix of the season always comes with an element of uncertainty as to how each team will perform but it was back to business for the top three outfits as Ferrari followed Red Bull’s lead to lock out the second row, Charles Leclerc getting the better of Carlos Sainz to qualify third.
Fernando Alonso will start from fifth on the grid to show Aston Martin mean business this year. The Spaniard also topped the earlier practice session as well as yesterday’s Practice 2.
He has George Russell alongside as Mercedes look to bounce back from a difficult 2022. Lewis Hamilton starts from seventh with Lance Stroll impressing for Aston Martin to take eighth in his return from a wrist injury. It’s a great result for the Canadian who has had limited seat time after being forced to miss pre-season testing because of said injury.
Esteban Ocon put Alpine in the mix to make Q3 and qualify ninth, his new teammate Pierre Gasly struggling and failing to make it out of Q1 and will start at the back of the grid as a result.
Nico Hulkenberg was solid for Haas and rounds out the starting grid top 10. The 35-year-old German was quick all session and was often in the mix with the front runners. He failed to set a legitimate lap in Q3 after his sole run was invalidated for exceeding track limits at Turn 4.
McLaren were rumoured to be in strife with a lack of pace this year however Lando Norris put those rumours to rest to qualify 11th, missing making Q3 by just half a second.
He has the first of the Alfa Romeos next to him with Valtteri Bottas 12th fastest in Q2, just ahead of of his teammate Zhou Guanyu. Alfa Romeo showed great pace for the entirety of pre-season testing and have the potential to move forward from their mid-field positions.
Yuki Tsunoda was the best of the AlphaTauris in 14th, one spot ahead of lead Williams driver Alex Albon. Williams’ rookie Logan Sargaent narrowly failed to progress for Q1 and starts 16th.
Kevin Magnussen also faced a tougher time for Haas, contrasting Hulkenberg’s qualifying. He starts 17th with McLaren rookie Oscar Piastri keeping him company on the ninth row.
De Vries outqualified Gasly by just .06 seconds to start 19th, leaving the experienced Frenchman to start 20th.
There’s hope of a tight race andsigns the midfield are catching the three faster outfits after Q1 saw all 20 drivers separated by less than one second.
All will be revealed tomorrow when the Bahrain Grand Prix gets underway at 4am. The race will be shown live on Sky Sport 2.