Ferrari takes 1-2 in Bahrain F1 GP qualifying


Front row locked out by Ferrari for Bahrain Formula 1 Grand Prix, Hamilton fourth but awaits grid penalty

Ferrari locked out the front row for the Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix for the first time since 2006 as Sebastian Vettel took pole position ahead of Kimi Räikkönen, while Lewis Hamilton will start ninth due to a five-place grid penalty.

Räikkönen set the fastest time early on in Q3 with an effort of 1min28.101sec, but his team-mate beat that with a final effort of 1min 27.958sec and the Finn, caught in traffic, couldn’t improve.

Hamilton sat in third after his first Q3 effort but Valtteri Bottas pipped him to third with a final effort of 1min 28.124sec. Daniel Ricciardo finished fifth, under four tenths off the pace.

It was Pierre Gasly who starred in qualifying, however, as he took his Toro Rosso to sixth, meaning that a Honda-powered car has qualified in the top-10 at Sakhir since Jenson Button qualified ninth in 2008. Gasly will, after Hamilton’s penalty is applied, therefore start from fifth.

Kevin Magnussen took seventh, 0.029sec behind Gasly, but ahead of both Renaults. Esteban Ocon split the Renault pair as Nico Hülkenberg qualified eighth and Carlos Sainz Jr 10th.

Vettel broke Bottas’ 2017 pole position time (1min 28.769sec) early on in Q2 with a 1min 28.341sec on supersofts while Hamilton used softs to finish second, just 0.117sec behind Vettel.

A flurry of flying efforts from the frontrunners did little to change matters in Q2 though Bottas pipped Ricciardo for fourth place late on. Hamilton emerged on supersofts but didn’t improve on his Q2 time.

The Renaults, led by Hülkenberg, finished sixth and seventh in the second session while Gasly and Ocon rounded out the top 10 at the expense of Brendon Hartley who missed out on Q3 by less than a tenth of a second.

Also eliminated in the second qualifying session was Sergio Pérez with a suspected ERS issue, both McLarens and Max Verstappen, who failed to set a lap after crashing out in Q1.

This (13th) was Fernando Alonso’s best qualifying performance in Bahrain since he left Ferrari in 2014.

Though he was fourth in Q1, Verstappen brought out a red flag after a spin exiting Turn 2, which left him in the barriers. That ended his qualifying session early and he will start the race towards the back, subject to any grid penalties.

Facing the drop zone was Alonso, whose time of 1min 30.530sec – exactly the same as 16th place Romain Grosjean’s – took him into Q2 as the McLaren crossed the line before the Haas.

Grosjean’s first flying effort was hampered by a lock-up going into Turn 1 and his final effort was ruined as he ran wide on the last corner. He will start ahead of Marcus Ericsson (17th) while Leclerc, who spun on his final effort, and a frustrated Lance Stroll provisionally fill out the back row.

Bahrain Formula 1 qualifying results

1 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1min 27.958sec  
2 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1min 28.101sec +0.143sec
3 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1min 28.124sec +0.166sec
4 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1min 28.220sec +0.262sec
5 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1min 28.398sec +0.440sec
6 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso 1min 29.329sec +1.371sec
7 Kevin Magnussen Haas 1min 29.358sec +1.400sec
8 Nico Hülkenberg Renault 1min 29.570sec +1.612sec
9 Esteban Ocon Force India 1min 29.874sec +1.916sec
10 Carlos Sainz Jr Renault 1min 29.986sec +2.028sec
11 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso 1min 30.105sec  
12 Sergio Pérez Force India 1min 30.156sec  
13 Fernando Alonso McLaren 1min 30.212sec  
14 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren 1min 30.525sec  
15 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1min 29.374sec  
16 Romain Grosjean Haas 1min 30.530sec  
17 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1min 31.063sec  
18 Sergey Sirotkin Williams 1min 31.414sec  
19 Charles Leclerc Sauber 1min 31.420sec  
20 Lance Stroll Williams 1min 31.503  

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