Grand Prix qualifying results: Verstappen takes pole in Bahrain F1

Max Verstappen took pole position for the Bahrain Grand Prix at Sakhir for Red Bull Racing on Saturday, the first race weekend of the 2021 Formula 1 World Championship season.

Verstappen will start ahead of the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas after the one-hour qualifying session, which is split into three segments with five cars each being knocked out in Q1 and Q2 before the top-10 shootout of Q3.

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Bahrain Grand Prix qualifying results: Verstappen on pole from Hamilton

Cla Driver Chassis Time
1 Netherlands Max Verstappen Red Bull 1'28.997
2 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1'29.385
3 Finland Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1'29.586
4 Monaco Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1'29.678
5 France Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri 1'29.809
6 Australia Daniel Ricciardo McLaren 1'29.927
7 United Kingdom Lando Norris McLaren 1'29.974
8 Spain Carlos Sainz Jr. Ferrari 1'30.215
9 Spain Fernando Alonso Alpine 1'30.249
10 Canada Lance Stroll Aston Martin 1'30.601
11 Mexico Sergio Perez Red Bull 1'30.659
12 Italy Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo 1'30.708
13 Japan Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri 1'31.203
14 Finland Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo 1'31.238
15 United Kingdom George Russell Williams 1'33.430
16 France Esteban Ocon Alpine 1'31.724
17 Canada Nicholas Latifi Williams 1'31.936
18 Germany Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin 1'32.056
19 Germany Mick Schumacher Haas 1'32.449
20 Russian Federation Nikita Mazepin Haas 1'33.273

What happened in Q1? 

In the first session, when all cars were on track together, Bottas set the early pace at 1m31.200s but was immediately beaten by Mercedes teammate Hamilton on 1m30.617s.

That was quickly topped by Verstappen, who lapped in 1m30.499s that would remain as the fastest time of the session, while AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda then vaulted into second, just 0.108s slower than Verstappen, with Ferrari's Charles Leclerc setting the fourth fastest time on his second run.

Falling at the first hurdle were Esteban Ocon (Alpine), Nicholas Latifi (Williams), Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin) and the Haas duo of Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin, the latter spinning at Turn 1 on his final lap that disrupted Ocon and Vettel in particular.

Ferrari's Carlos Sainz also stopped on track, causing another yellow flag, as his car cutout after running over the kerbs at Turn 2 – the stewards noting that all times set under those yellows would be checked after the session.

UPDATE: After reviewing the laps of Ocon, Stroll, Vettel and Russell, the FIA's event stewards decided no further action was required.

Bahrain Grand Prix Q1 results: Verstappen fastest from Tsunoda

Cla Driver Chassis Laps Time Gap
1 Netherlands Max Verstappen Red Bull 3 1'30.499  
2 Japan Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri 3 1'30.607 0.108
3 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 6 1'30.617 0.118
4 Monaco Charles Leclerc Ferrari 6 1'30.691 0.192
5 Australia Daniel Ricciardo McLaren 6 1'30.795 0.296
6 France Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri 3 1'30.848 0.349
7 Spain Fernando Alonso Alpine 6 1'30.863 0.364
8 United Kingdom Lando Norris McLaren 6 1'30.902 0.403
9 Italy Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo 6 1'30.998 0.499
10 Mexico Sergio Perez Red Bull 5 1'31.165 0.666
11 Finland Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 5 1'31.200 0.701
12 Canada Lance Stroll Aston Martin 6 1'31.261 0.762
13 United Kingdom George Russell Williams 8 1'31.316 0.817
14 Finland Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo 6 1'31.547 1.048
15 Spain Carlos Sainz Jr. Ferrari 5 1'31.653 1.154
16 France Esteban Ocon Alpine 6 1'31.724 1.225
17 Canada Nicholas Latifi Williams 8 1'31.936 1.437
18 Germany Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin 6 1'32.056 1.557
19 Germany Mick Schumacher Haas 6 1'32.449 1.950
20 Russian Federation Nikita Mazepin Haas 7 1'33.273 2.774

What happened in Q2?

In Q2, the majority of the leading runners ran initially on the medium tyre – as each car will start on the rubber used in this session.

On the first run, Bottas set 1m30.559s, which was in turn beaten by Verstappen’s 1m30.318s and then Hamilton’s 1m30.085s. Red Bull’s Sergio Perez was fourth quickest but lost his time for exceeding track limits at Turn 4 and had to go again – but did so on the medium tyre.

Rivals went for the faster softs, and Leclerc went quickest on 1m30.010s, before teammate Sainz beat him by 0.001s for a shock Ferrari 1-2. Hamilton stayed third, ahead of McLaren’s Lando Norris and Bottas. Verstappen, who believed that he'd damaged his car over the kerbs in Q1, dropped to seventh.

Knocked out at this point were Perez, whose gamble to run the mediums failed badly, Antonio Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo), Tsunoda (who also gambled on mediums after starring in Q1), Kimi Raikkonen (Alfa) and George Russell (Williams).

Bahrain Grand Prix Q2 results: Sainz fastest from Leclerc, Perez knocked out

Cla Driver Chassis Laps Time
1 Spain Carlos Sainz Jr. Ferrari 11 1'30.009
2 Monaco Charles Leclerc Ferrari 12 1'30.010
3 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 12 1'30.085
4 United Kingdom Lando Norris McLaren 12 1'30.099
5 Finland Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 11 1'30.186
6 Australia Daniel Ricciardo McLaren 12 1'30.222
7 Netherlands Max Verstappen Red Bull 9 1'30.318
8 France Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri 9 1'30.513
9 Spain Fernando Alonso Alpine 12 1'30.595
10 Canada Lance Stroll Aston Martin 12 1'30.624
11 Mexico Sergio Perez Red Bull 11 1'30.659
12 Italy Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo 12 1'30.708
13 Japan Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri 9 1'31.203
14 Finland Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo 12 1'31.238
15 United Kingdom George Russell Williams 11 1'33.430

What happened in Q3?

In the top-10 shootout, Hamilton set the early benchmark in the battle for pole with 1m29.549s but Verstappen then produced 1m29.526s to beat him by 0.023s. AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly was best of the rest after the first runs, but almost half a second in arrears.

On the second runs on new rubber, Bottas set 1m29.586s before Hamilton’s 1m29.385 briefly grabbed the P1 time but then Verstappen blew them all away with 1m28.997s, taking pole by almost four tenths of a second.

Leclerc was fourth fastest, ahead of Gasly, McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris, Sainz, Alpine’s Fernando Alonso and the Aston Martin of Lance Stroll.

Bahrain Grand Prix Q3 results: Verstappen takes pole

Cla Driver Chassis Laps Time Gap
1 Netherlands Max Verstappen Red Bull 6 1'28.997  
2 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 6 1'29.385 0.388
3 Finland Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 6 1'29.586 0.589
4 Monaco Charles Leclerc Ferrari 3 1'29.678 0.681
5 France Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri 6 1'29.809 0.812
6 Australia Daniel Ricciardo McLaren 6 1'29.927 0.930
7 United Kingdom Lando Norris McLaren 6 1'29.974 0.977
8 Spain Carlos Sainz Jr. Ferrari 6 1'30.215 1.218
9 Spain Fernando Alonso Alpine 3 1'30.249 1.252
10 Canada Lance Stroll Aston Martin 3 1'30.601 1.604

 

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Series Formula 1
Event Bahrain GP
Author Charles Bradley
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