The Heat is On For Max Verstappen As He Storms To Pole Position For The Bahrain GP
The Heat is on but not for Lewis Hamilton who was denied pole position during the Bahrain GP qualifying. The pre-season testing form book was correct. Red Bull, in Max Verstappen’s hands, rubber-stamped their favourites tag to dominate qualifying by setting a time that was over four-tenths ahead of Lewis Hamilton. Valtteri Bottas slotted into third closely followed by Charles Leclerc who hustled his Ferrari into fourth. Pierre Gasly showed promise in the Alpha Tauri while Daniel Riccardo started his McLaren career in sixth with teammate Lando Norris biting at his heels in seventh. Carlos Sainz, who replaced Sebastian Vettel, initially showed promise but found himself six-tenths behind Leclerc.
F1 refugee-returnee Fernando Alonso marked his return to the sport after a two-year absence with a very credible 9th position. Lance Stroll filled the top ten slot for the newly minted Aston Martin team, nee Racing Point. Teammate Sebastian Vettel fell victim to yellow flags as a result of a donkey being out on track. Vettel exited Q1 in 18th. So, after much pre-season testing speculation, we can finally confirm the pecking order. The Red Bull with Max Verstappen behind the wheel is the fastest car at the moment.
It is still a mystery as to why the Red Bull is so evidently faster for one driver and not for the other. Perez is certainly no slouch but today he was obliterated by Verstappen. We also know Honda has created an engine on par with the Mercedes power unit. And combine that with the consistently best-of-the-field Red Bull chassis and the raw pace of Max Verstappen then you have an unassailable advantage.
The heat is on for Max Verstappen, the pressure is high, but the race is where points are won or lost. If Red Bull can replicate their qualifying pace in the race then, barring reliability issues, the heat is on Red Bull Oh-wo-ho, oh-wo-ho.
2021 Bahrain GP Qualifying:
|1||33||Red Bull Racing Honda||1:30.499||1:30.318||1:28.997||15|
|10||18||Aston Martin Mercedes||1:31.261||1:30.624||1:30.601||15|
|11||11||Red Bull Racing Honda||1:31.165||1:30.659||11|
|12||99||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||1:30.998||1:30.708||12|
|14||7||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||1:31.547||1:31.238||12|
|18||5||Aston Martin Mercedes||1:32.056||6|