Bahrain GP – Qualifying Report

Lewis Hamilton sealed pole position under the lights ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix, the seven time world champion also extends his record for most pole positions to ninety eight just two shy of a century of pole positions. Valtteri Bottas completed the first row grid lock out for Mercedes taking that tally up to eleven front row lock outs this season. Joining the Mercedes on the top three is Max Verstappen where he has spent starting most of the season. The Dutchman is also third in the standings behind Valterri Bottas and although Hamilton has already sealed the championship since Turkey Bottas is yet to seal second place and there is an off chance that the Finn could be relegated to third place before the end of the season. 

Joining Verstappen is teammate Alex Albon who may as well be fighting for his career in Formula one as less than stellar performances have led to mounting pressure which was not helped by a huge crash during free practice on  Friday which was purely down to driver error on his behalf. Starting from P4 and close to his teammate will be what the team has wanted from him and having tested the team’s patience throughout the season.

Lining up behind Alex Albon is someone who may end up taking his seat next year, Sergio Perez. As is well known the Mexican is without a drive next year but in contrast to the Thai ahead of him he’s been turning in Stellar consistent performances throughout the season and is currently fourth in the standings despite having missed two races. Starting from P5 on Sunday with three races to go Sergio Perez is literally breathing down Alex Albon’s neck.

Starting alongside Sergio Perez is Daniel Ricciardo who is currently embroiled in a battle for fourth in the standings with the Perez and Charles Leclerc  who starts further down the grid having failed to make it past Q2. 

Behind Ricciardo is the Frenchmen pair Esteban Ocon starting from P7 and Pierre Gasly. Behind them are Lando Norris and Daniil Kvyat closing out the top ten. This further adds a twist in the fight for third place in the Constructor’s Championship between Renault, McLaren and Racing Point currently led by the most latter. Whilst both Renault drivers start in the top ten only one from McLaren and Racing Point do as Lance Stroll failed to make it out of Q2 and Carlos Sainz seemed to suffer from mechanical failure induced by a spin he had towards the end of Q1. This coupled with the presence of Alpha Tauri’s drivers in the top ten who seemingly have nothing to lose could end up being a fly in the ointment for one of the aforementioned three teams.

Scuderia Ferrari will start on the sixth row with Vettel ahead of teammate Leclerc. Behind them are Racing Point’s Lance Stroll whom according to the team was sent out on worn out set of medium tyres as a result of miscommunication and was thus unable to get into Q3. The Canadian currently sits just outside of the top ten in the standings andhe will require a decent point haul on Sunday to break in and also help his team maintain their lead in the battle for third. Alongside him is George Russell who extends his run of never being outqualified his teammate, perhaps a run he would like to bring to an end is that of not scoring a point as he is yet to do so in Formula 1. In an interview on Thursday the Briton expressed frustration in not being able to compete with fellow young talents as the car at Williams does not allow him to do so.

Behind them are Antonio Giovinazzi and Kimi Raikkonen who are the Haas drivers whom will both not be in the grid next year and they will start ahead of Nicholas Latifi who is not very good under qualifying and much like his Williams teammate is yet to score a point. Latifi however is ahead of his teammate on count back as he has had more eleventh place finishes.

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