Red Bull Racing: Max Verstappen starts Bahrain Grand Prix in pole position

    Image Credit: Red Bull Content Pool

    Red Bull Racing's Max Verstappen will start tomorrow's Bahrain Grand Prix on pole position after a close-fought qualifying session on Friday (1st March).

    The reigning World Champion sits at the top of the grid after posting a lap time of 1:29.179 - putting him 0.228 seconds ahead of Ferrari's Charles Leclerc in P2 and 0.308 seconds ahead of George Russel of Mercedes-AMG in third.

    Just over half a second separated Verstappen at the top and seven-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton in P9, with many believing the race itself could be a tight affair for the top teams involved.

    Claiming P1 will be a relief for the Milton Keynes-based constructor, who are looking to secure a third-consecutive Constructor's Championship, while Verstappen himself is looking for a fourth-consecutive individual title.

    Verstappen increased his pace at each stage of qualifying, finishing Q1 in third place behind Ferrari's Carlos Sainz and Aston Martin's Lance Stroll with a top lap time of 1:30.031, 0.122 seconds behind the leader.

    He improved to second place in Q2, this time sitting 0.209 seconds behind Leclerc with a 1:29.374 lap time, before eventually claiming pole on the same track he did at the start of last year's championship - even improving on the 1.29.708 time he registered that time around.

    This pole position was the 33rd of Verstappen's career and the third time he has sat atop the grid at the start of the Bahrain Grand Prix.

    Via Sky Sports, Verstappen commented: "To really get everything out of it in Q3 was a little more difficult but I'm very happy to be on pole."

    "It was a little bit unexpected but luckily in qualifying the car came to us and I felt a bit happier with the whole car."

    It was also a fairly positive qualifying for Verstappen's teammate, Sergio Perez, who claimed P5 with a lap time of 1:29.537 - 0.358 seconds behind the Dutchman.


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