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Other SportsBahrain Grand Prix: Verstappen claims pole for Red Bull

Bahrain Grand Prix: Verstappen claims pole for Red Bull

Max Verstappen picked up where he left off last season by clinching pole position for the opening race in 2024 in Bahrain.

After what has been a difficult few days for Red Bull in light of the ongoing Christian Horner situation, the Dutchman’s performance, and that of the car, will provide a moment of satisfaction for the Austrian team.

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Verstappen clinched pole with a fastest lap of one minute, 29.179 seconds. Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc joined him on the front row in 1:29.407 with George Russell the fastest of the Mercedes to come third in 1:29.485.

If Q1 was tightly-fought with Carlos Sainz topping the timesheets, Q2 was led by Leclerc, who ended it two-tenths of a second faster than Verstappen.

But when it really mattered, the Dutchman came through once more. Verstappen won a remarkable 19 of the 22 races last year and he will be the obvious man to beat in Bahrain tomorrow.

He said: “It was a lot of fun actually, the track had a lot of grip but with the wind over the last few days, it’s been quite tricky to get the whole lap together and it was the same in qualifying, in Q1, Q2 you go a bit faster with the track ramping up but to really get everything out of it in Q3 was a little bit difficult.

“I’m very happy to be on pole, to be honest it was a little bit unexpected but in qualifying I think the car came to us and I felt a bit happier with the whole car.

“I said yesterday we need to fine tune a few things on the car to try and get that perfect balance, but with the wind that was not possible, but luckily we went in the right direction and we could really push a bit more with the car.”

Sainz ended up fourth with Sergio Perez, Fernando Alonso, Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri rounding out the top eight.

Lewis Hamilton was a disappointing ninth, over five-tenths off the pace.

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.
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