Max Verstappen has pipped Lewis Hamilton to take pole position for F1 2021 season-opener Bahrain GP. The Red Bull driver set the track on fire on the second run of Q3 as he set three purple sectors on his way to snatch pole from Hamilton.
Hamilton was on provisional pole after his second run in Q3, but he failed to improve his time on the middle sector of the Sakhir track. In the end, Hamilton ended up 0.388 seconds behind Verstappen. Valtteri Bottas finished third to slot his Mercedes on the second row of the grid.
Charles Leclerc had a good qualifying session and moved the Ferrari up to the fourth place. AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly looked strong throughout the qualifying session but only managed to finish fifth in Q3. McLaren drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris finished qualifying in sixth and seventh, respectively.
Carlos Sainz finished Q3 with the eighth-fastest time ahead of fellow Spaniard Fernando Alonso in his Alpine. Lance Stroll rounded off the top-ten finishers of the Bahrain GP qualifying. Sebastian Vettel had a dismal qualifying with Aston Martin as he was knocked out of Q1 as he had to slow down for the yellow flag caused by Nikita Mazepin’s spin.
Sergio Perez had a shaky start to his Red Bull stint as the medium tyre strategy in Q2 backfired. The Mexican driver was knocked out of Q2 after his lap time was deleted for violating track limits on the first run of Q2. Even though he set a lap time on his second run on medium tyres, other cars improved on soft tyres, and he finished his first qualifying with Red Bull in the 11th position.
Bahrain GP Qualifying Top 10 Results:
|1||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||1:28.997|
|8||Carlos Sainz Jr.||Ferrari||1:30.215|
|10||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin||1:30.601|