Charles Leclerc captures his first ever pole position in Formula 1 ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Scuderia Ferrari dominated all of qualifying with Leclerc topping all three qualifying sessions whilst on his way to his first pole. The Monegasque driver set a record breaking time of a 1:27.866 ahead of team-mate Sebastian Vettel and becomes the second-youngest driver to claim pole position.
Vettel qualified in second but only managed one run in Q3 due to committing a second run during Qualifying 2 after setting a slow time. He was short of his young team-mate by 0.294 seconds.
The Mercedes AMG Petronas cars fill up the second row with Lewis Hamilton starting ahead of championship leader Valtteri Bottas. Aston Martin Red Bull Racing‘s Max Verstappen placed himself in fifth place ahead of Rich Energy Haas F1‘s Kevin Magnussen.
Carlos Sainz Jr. in the McLaren F1 car managed the seventh best time overall, beating Romain Grosjean and Kimi Räikkönen. Lando Norris rounds off the top ten.
The first qualifying session began with Robert Kubica in the ROKiT Williams heading out on track first alongside team-mate George Russell and Alexander Albon, who set the first time of the session with a 1:31.125.
Mercedes and Ferrari headed out on track together seven minutes into the session to do their first runs of qualifying, with Bottas leading the way. Norris surpassed Albon’s time to go fastest, but had to take avoiding action when Grosjean stopped in the middle of the circuit at the final corner, forcing Norris to hit the brakes heavily to avoid the Rich Energy Haas.
Both Ferrari’s topped the time sheets with Leclerc setting a 1:28.495 ahead of team-mate Vettel. Bottas sat in third, over a second away from Leclerc’s time in Q1. Hamilton attempted a second run and improved his position by passing his team-mate for third place.
In their final runs in Q1, Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg lost out whilst everyone made improvements on their times. Team-mate Daniel Ricciardo improved on his time by 1.2 seconds, which ultimately sent his team-mate into the drop zone. Antonio Giovinazzi didn’t make the cut as he was beaten by team-mate Räikkönen. Lance Stroll in the Racing Point and both Williams cars failed to make it into Qualifying 2 and will fill the rear end of the grid.
The second session and the hunt for a spot in the final ten session began with Bottas first out on track, leading a train of cars out of the pit lane.
The Finn set a 1:28.830 with his initial lap, but was quickly beaten by team-mate Hamilton with a 1:28.578. Leclerc quickly took the top spot with a 1:28.046 whilst Vettel could only manage sixth fastest due to losing half a second in the middle sector as a result of traffic and a lock up at Turn 10.
In the final moments of qualifying, Vettel returned to the track on a new set of soft tyres in a bid to improve on his time. He jumped up to second place, falling short to Leclerc by 0.310 seconds.
Sergio Pérez couldn’t improve on his time and ended the session in fourteenth. Daniil Kvyat didn’t take to the track and accepted his fifteenth grid slot. Ricciardo failed to make the shootout session by going eleventh fastest ahead of Albon, who starts ahead of Red Bull driver Pierre Gasly who didn’t make it out of the drop zone and into the top ten for the second race in the row.
The hunt for pole position began with Magnussen heading out on track first, following by Sainz, Bottas and Hamilton. Norris set the first time of the session, but was quickly beaten by Magnussen and Sainz. The Mercedes drivers took the top of the timing screens with Hamilton ahead of Bottas, but quickly was beaten by Leclerc with a 1:27.958, a lap record on the track.
Verstappen and Vettel didn’t set a lap time during the first runs of qualifying as they remained in their garages. The two joined the rest of the field during the second and final run in Qualifying 3. In Vettel’s sole attempt, couldn’t beat his team-mates time and settled for second place. Mercedes couldn’t improve on their times, leaving them on the second row. Leclerc’s first ever pole position was secured, but the Monegasque driver set a record breaking lap with a 1:27.866 in his final run.
Leclerc becomes the second-youngest driver to score a pole position in F1, with youngest being his team-mate Vettel. He also becomes the youngest Ferrari driver to qualify on pole in only his second race with the Italian team.
|1||16||Charles Leclerc||MON||Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow||1:27.886||Q3|
|2||5||Sebastian Vettel||GER||Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow||1:28.160||0.294|
|3||44||Lewis Hamilton||GBR||Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport||1:28.190||0.324|
|4||77||Valtteri Bottas||FIN||Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport||1:28.256||0.390|
|5||33||Max Verstappen||NED||Aston Martin Red Bull Racing||1:28.752||0.886|
|6||20||Kevin Magnussen||DEN||Rich Energy Haas F1 Team||1:28.757||0.891|
|7||55||Carlos Sainz Jr.||ESP||McLaren F1 Team||1:28.813||0.947|
|8||20||Kevin Magnussen||DEN||Rich Energy Haas F1 Team||1:29.015||1.149|
|9||7||Kimi Räikkönen||FIN||Alfa Romeo Racing||1:29.022||1.156|
|10||4||Lando Norris||GBR||McLaren F1 Team||1:29.043||1.177|
|11||3||Daniel Ricciardo||AUS||Renault F1 Team||1:29.488||Q2 1.442|
|12||23||Alexander Albon||THA||Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda||1:29.513||1.467|
|13||10||Pierre Gasly||FRA||Aston Martin Red Bull Racing||1:29.526||1.480|
|14||11||Sergio Pérez||MEX||SportPesa Racing Point F1 Team||1:29.726||1.710|
|15||26||Daniil Kvyat||RUS||Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda||1:29.854||1.808|
|16||99||Antonio Giovinazzi||ITA||Alfa Romeo Racing||1:30.026||Q1 1.531|
|17||27||Nico Hülkenberg||GER||Renault F1 Team||1:30.034||1.539|
|18||18||Lance Stroll||CAN||SportPesa Racing Point F1 Team||1:30.217||1.722|
|19||63||George Russell||GBR||ROKiT Williams Racing||1:31.759||3.264|
|20||88||Robert Kubica||POL||ROKiT Williams Racing||1:31.799||3.304|