Leclerc and Ferrari pole positions in an exciting session!

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It was a matter of curiosity what the competition would look like after the introduction of new technical rules in Formula 1. Red Bull and Ferrari marked the qualifying round for the Bahrain Grand Prix today, with Charles Leclerc taking his first pole position since Baku in 2021.

The last champion to race in 1st place this year, Max Verstappen, finished 2nd in qualifying, while Ferrari’s other driver Carlos Sainz was 3rd.

The race will be held on Sunday at 18:00.

Race grid:

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Charles Leclerc Ferrari F1-75

Photo: ZakMauger / Motorsport Image

Q3: Leclerc on the pole in front of Verstappen!

Two Mercedes, two Red Bulls, two Ferrari drivers, Pierre Guthrie of Alfa Tauri, Fernando Alonso of Alfa Romeo, Barteribotta of Alfa Romeo and Kevin Magnussen of Haas remained in the final stages of qualifying.

After the first lap of qualifying, Carlos Sainz emerged in first place with a lap time of 1: 30,687, but the name behind him was very close to him. Charles Leclerc was second, only 0.044 seconds behind, and Max Verstappen was third, 0.056 seconds behind.

Meanwhile, Mercedes drivers made their first lap with used tires.

Approximately three minutes before the end, the driver took the truck with a new set of fabrics and made another attempt.

After these trials, things changed completely and Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc took pole position with a time of 1:30,558.

This is Leclerc and Ferrari’s first pole position after the 2021 Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Verstappen set the fastest time of 1: 30.681 on the final lap, but was second with a 0.123 second delay.

In a close battle, Carlos Sainz was only 0.006 seconds behind Verstappen.

Red Bull’s other driver, Sergio Perez, wasn’t too far from this challenge. Perez finished the session in 4th place, 0.3 seconds behind.

As expected at Mercedes, Lewis Hamilton and George Russell were late. Hamilton finished fifth, just 0.680 seconds behind, after recording 1: 31,560 on the fastest lap.

Russell made the first lap with used tires, but made a mistake on the second lap. Because of this, he could only finish in 9th place.

At Alfa Romeo, Valtteri Bottas was one of the stars of the session. The Finnish driver continued the Q3 series of 101 races in Bahrain and was entitled to start the race from 6th place.

Kevin Magnussen, who returned to F1 after a year’s hiatus, finished in 7th place, 1.2 seconds behind, making Haas the first third quarter since 2019.

In Alpine, Fernando Alonso finished in 8th place 1.6 seconds later. Pierre Guthrie was in 10th place.

Third quarter results:

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB18

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB18

Photo: Motorsport image

Q2: Verstappen is only 0.030 seconds ahead of Sainz

In the second half of the qualifying round, Max Verstappen took the lead with a first attempt of 1: 30,757. However, Ferrari drivers recorded the fastest lap with used tires.

A second attempt was made during the last two minutes of the session.

The Ferrari driver ran the course on his second try, but couldn’t beat Verstappen’s time.

Therefore, Verstappen finished the division leader at 1: 30,757. Sainz was second with a 0.030 second difference, Leclerc was third with 0.175 seconds, and Sergio Perez was fourth with 0.251 seconds.

Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and George Russell conclude the top six.

Judging by the riders excluded in the second part, there was no big surprise based on the practice session.

In Alpine, Esteban Ocon missed the last division of the middle group for 0.085 seconds and finished in 11th place.

Mick Schumacher was only in the first third quarter of his Haas career, but finished in 12th place, 0.5 seconds behind his teammates.

Another McLaren driver, Lando Norris, was unable to reach the final section of his poor MCL36 and started the race in 13th place.

Alex Albon reached the second division with Williams in the first qualifying round, but could not exceed 14th place. Guanyu Zhou will start the first race of his career on the 15th.

Second quarter results:

Charles Leclerc Ferrari F1-75

Charles Leclerc Ferrari F1-75

Photo: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Image

Q1: Leclerc is the leader and Ricciardo was eliminated in the first episode

The first part of the qualifying round in Bahrain produced very interesting results. Ferrari drivers were very strong and Charles Leclerc set the fastest time at 1: 31,471.

Carlos Sainz set the second best time, only 0.096 seconds behind, and Max Verstappen set the third time, 0.341 seconds behind.

Thus, Ferrari started the qualifying lap at a very strong pace.

Mercedes drivers only got 9th and 10th place in this category. Especially the laps of Valtteri Bottas in 4th place and Kevin Magnussen in 5th place were remarkable.

The name removed in the first episode wasn’t a surprise. AlphaTauri driver Yuki Tsunoda finished 16th in qualifying after missing his third practice session.

Nico Hulkenberg managed to defeat his teammate Lance Stroll, but was eliminated after finishing 17th in the first qualifying round almost two years later.

Daniel Ricciardo had a disappointing session at McLaren, finishing in 18th place. Nicholas Latifi, who had a bad session with Lance Stroll and Williams, took the final second place.

Result of Q1:

Nico Hulkenberg, Aston Martin AMR22

Nico Hulkenberg, Aston Martin AMR22

Photo: ZakMauger / Motorsport Image