Red Bull’s Max Verstappen took pole position for the Bahrain Grand Prix, the opening round of the 2023 Formula 1 World Championship, on Saturday. It may be a new year, but Verstappen has continued his aptitude for putting in big time drivers. Looking to complete a trilogy of driver’s championships, Max would lead the Red Bull Team to a front row lockout for tomorrow’s grand prix, as Verstappen looks to capture his first win at the circuit.
Qualifying 1 was an interesting affair under the Bahrain lights. It started off with some early drama as a part from Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari broke off during the Monaco native’s first run, bringing out a red flag while both Red Bulls were looking to start their flying laps.
As Q1 wore on, it became very clear that all ten teams were very close in car performance as by the end of Q1, the top 20 were separated by just over 1.1 seconds.
While the cars were much closer, there still had to be the slowest 5 drivers in the session, and the close call came at the end with Logan Sargent setting the exact same lap time as Driver At Risk Lando Norris, but due to Lando setting the time first, he kept his P15 for the time being.
Pierre Gasly’s lap time would be deleted after the session for track limits, meaning he will start P20, while F1 debutants Oscar Piastri and De Vries would also be eliminated in Q1, finishing P19 and P18 respectively.
After qualifying one, it became clear that several teams would be trading the fastest lap, with drivers such as Hulkenberg setting a very competitive time despite being in a midfield car. There were no red flags in this session, so no one would be held up.
In qualifying 2, Lando Norris still could not manage to close the gap to get into the top ten, but he was able to secure a P11. Joining him in being eliminated were the two Alfa Romeo drivers, while Yuki Tsunoda and Alex Albon rounded out P11-P15 for Sunday’s Race.
The battle for the pole began under the lights with the knowledge that several teams would be contesting for pole position and second, looking to have clear air in front of the drivers on the race start tomorrow afternoon.
After the first runs from drivers, two-time world champion Max Verstappen was on the pole, with Charles Leclerc in second. Charles would jump out of his car before the end of qualifying, meaning he would not be in the fight. On the second run, Max Verstappen would extend while Sergio Perez would put his Red Bull alongside. The Ferraris would finish close behind in P3 and P4. Crofty would also let fans know that Charles had no issues with his car, meaning Ferrari wanted a fresh set of softs for tomorrow’s race.
You can check out the rest of the top ten below:
1. VER 2. PER 3. LEC 4. SAI 5. ALO 6. RUS 7. HAM 8. STR 9. OCO 10. HUL
We will have to wait and see what comes next for the Bahrain GP tomorrow afternoon, but things certainly look good for Red Bull after an exciting qualifying session.