Bahrain GP Qualifying – Live Blog

14:40

Hello, and welcome to todays live blog as I run through qualifying for the Bahrain GP

14:51

The story so far is Max Verstappen leading every practice session so far. Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes will surely take the sandbags off and give a challenge… unless they really are struggling.

14:53

Who are looking good?

AlphaTauri – They have looked rapid every practice session, looking as if they have closed the gap to the front of the midfield.

Ferrari – They to, have closed the gap.

Who are looking bad?

Alpine – Will they get out of Q1? That’s an honest question. Fernando Alonso, two-time champion, returned to win races, but may struggle to start anywhere near the top ten.

Aston Martin – Their testing sessions are coming back to haunt them. They haven’t looked comfortable this weekend. Expect to see them be on the fringe of the top ten.

14:56

Excited. Practice is great, but the F1 properly starts with the first qualifying session.

14:57

Throughout practice there has been a number of teams at the top of the standings, will this translate to qualifying and the race? I hope so, I really hope so.

14:58

*Insert joke about testing sandbags being taken off whilst racing in a desert.*

15:00

WE ARE GREEN

Q1. 17 minute session, slowest five will be eliminated.

Both Williams and Haas cars are out first.

15:02

Half of the grid have won a grand prix, wow. I wonder when the last time that occured.

15:03

1973. Thanks Crofty.

I am not saying that George Russell should be on that list. But I can’t think about Sakhir still.

15:05

Russell and Latifi both pit after a flying lap attempt which didn’t plan out.

Mazepin spins. He’s not liking this circuit, a few spins this weekend.

Schumacher is first. I repeat Schumacher first…. He’s the only person to set a time, but isn’t it great to see.

15:07

More cars out, now the action begins.

Every car is out, except the AlphaTauri’s, there always has to be one.

15:12

First times are in. Verstappen is first, Yuki Tsunoda storms into second!

Bottom five is currently: Ocon, Latiffi, Russell, Mazepin, Schumacher.

15:13

One lap left.

Latifi never outqualified Russell last year, he’s 0.08 above Russell so far.

I think 10th down all need to go out again.

15:16

It is indeed!

15:18

Russell three tenths up.

One second up!

P7 Russell

and Mazepin spins again.

Latifi doesn’t improve

15:20

VETTEL 18th. Ocon 16th.

15:21

16th Ocon. 17th Latifi. 18th Vettel. 19th Schumacher. 20th Mazepin.

15:22

Lap times will be investigated to see if they were set during yellow flags. Which begs the question, surely it has to be done now.

15:23

If a driver set a lap and went faster during yellows that lap will be invalidated. That could see Ocon on the fringe be advanced to 15th and safe.

15:24

Can’t help but not support them. True historical team.

15:25

I am not surprised from what I have seen through his junior career. But if you’re gonna do that, at least have the decency and not spin.

15:26

Replays of Sainz struggling to get going, he only just scrapped through. Living dangerously.

15:28

How’s your luck Seb?

15:28

Q2 underway. Mercedes, Red Bull and McLaren on the mediums.

15:29

AlphaTauri on mediums, they are not playing around.

Can’t afford a scrappy lap here.

15:32

Perez and Ricciardo, both mediums, track limits.

Do they risk another set, risk another lap, or go onto the softs?

15:34

Norris ahead of both Ferrari’s who are on softs, good stuff.

Perez took too much inside kerb and couldn’t rotate the car. Ricciardo couldn’t seem to get much turn in.

15:35

AlphaTauri’s almost definitely need to go on softs, 8th and 9th. Ricciardo and Perez still to set a lap.

15:36

Checo on mediums again.

15:37

Russell 1.33.4 on a used set of softs is pretty good.

15:39

AlphaTauri stay on mediums.

Gasly slower first sector. Same for Tsunoda.

Giovinzzi might get a top 10.

Gasly has a worldie final sector to go, Tsunoda doesn’t improve and drops out.

15:42

Wow! Perez out!

Tsunoda should’ve gone with the softs.

Drivers eliminated: Perez, Giovinazzi, Tsunoda, Raikkonen, Russell

15:43

Both McLaren’s needed to go onto the softs. Wherever they start tomorrow, expect a lightning start.

15:45

Tsunoda shouldn’t have tried the mediums, when their backs were against the wall they should have put the softs on as the AT should be locked in for a Q3 fight.

Perez. Well well. I’m not gonna start already and say that the second Red Bull car is cursed after one race. But I can feel Albon has a smile on his face.

15:49

What everyone is feeling. Q3 underway.

15:50

If Max has damage, how bad is it? How big of an affect is it having?

Alonso getting through when Ocon is out in Q1, hope he doesn’t get Vandoorned.

15:53

McLaren on a used set

Bottas can’t beat Gasly!

Verstappen goes provisional pole beating Hamilton by 0.023 seconds. Yes!

Gasly has put an absolute belter lap in there.

15:56

Used set on Sainz, where has this pace come from!

15:56

Mercedes showing their true pace now. We have a battle.

Final laps.

15:57

That shot of all the cars coming out the pits, I was expecting damage there.

Stroll goes sixth fastest, that’s him done.

15:58

Bottas is the unlucky one, no tow for him.

16:00

Max Verstappen!!! 0.388 quicker than Hamilton.

Charles in fourth!

Ricciardo pips Norris.

16:04

Leclerc and Gasly fourth and fifth is amazing. The midfield battle will be outstanding.

16:06

16:07

Max Verstappen: “It all worked out perfectly.”

Lewis Hamilton: “I gave it everything, but there was nothing left.”

Valtteri Bottas: “It was tricky to go against Max and Lewis.”

16:11

16:12

Birthday boy David Coulthard gets cake in his face, love it.

16:14

Max will be on pole position, the two Mercedes will be gunning off the line. The run to the first corner will be very important. The midfield is going to be very tight. A race is on our hands tomorrow. I can not wait.

That’s it from me today, catch you next time.

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