Vettel Takes Pole Position At The Bahrain Grand Prix
The second race of the 2018 grand prix season is taking place tomorrow, and the starting grid has been decided.
Sebastian Vettel has taken pole position ahead of Kimi Raikkonen and Valtteri Bottas.
As it currently stands, Lewis Hamilton has been given a five-place grid penalty following a gearbox change which means that whilst he qualified fourth, he will start the race in 9th position.
In Q1 of qualifying, Max Verstappen spun on turn two, and crashed into the barrier. This meant that there was a red flag given whilst the car was recovered. He has had an unlucky start to the season with over-driving in the Australian Grand Prix, and crashing out of Q1 for Bahrain, but it’s not over for him yet. He secured a fast enough lap to get him into Q2 so he will start the race just ahead of Grosjean.
It wasn’t the best qualifying for Romain Grosjean. He sits in 16th place on the grid which will be a disappointment for him, and the Haas/Ferrari team. Fingers crossed he can actually finish the race tomorrow. It was a real toss-up between Grosjean and Alonso for a place in Q2 but by the skin of his teeth, Alonso secured the Q2 place, and will start the race 13th on the grid.
Hamilton originally came out in Q2 with the yellow soft tyres whilst most other drivers came out in the red super-soft tyres. Mercedes are looking to try something different as Hamilton is facing a five-place penalty. Just a few minutes before the end of Q2, Hamilton changed to the red super-soft tyres.
It was a great day for Renault, with both Hulkenberg and Carlos Sainz making it through to Q3, and Hulkenberg in 7th position, and Carlos Sainz in 10th position. The same couldn’t be said for McLaren with Alonso in 13th and Vandoorne in 14th.
It is worrying times for McLaren after spending around $100m on switching engines, yet being out-qualified by both Toro Rosso-Honda cars. Alonso’s claims earlier this week around his car being able to compete with the likes of Red Bull are now a distant memory.
Kimi Raikkonen had a very impressing qualifying session, and was putting some very quick laps in Q1 and Q3. He will be starting the race in 2nd position. Bottas also puts in an incredible final lap in Q3 to qualify with a faster lap than Hamilton.
Pierre Gasly was the driver of the day, putting in an incredible performance from qualifying in last place in Australia, to actually making it through to Q3, and in 5th place.
The ultimate pole position went to Sebastian Vettel who proved the strength of Ferrari, as the only racer to score a sub-1m28s lap.
As it currently stands, here is the grid positions for the 2018 Bahrain Grand Prix.
#1: Sebastian Vettel - Ferrari - 1m27.958s
#2: Kimi Raikkonen - Ferrari - 1m28.101s
#3: Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes - 1m28.124s
#4: Daniel Ricciardo - Red Bull/Renault - 1m28.398s
#5: Pierre Gasly - Toro Rosso/Honda - 1m29.329s
#6: Kevin Magnussen - Haas/Ferrari - 1m29.358s
#7: Nico Hulkenberg - Renault - 1m29.570s
#8: Esteban Ocon - Force India/Mercedes - 1m29.874s
#9: Lewis Hamilton - Mercedes - 1m28.220s (4th fastest, five-place penalty)
#10: Carlos Sainz - Renault - 1m29.986s
#11: Brendon Hartley - Toro Rosso/Honda - 1m30.105s
#12: Sergio Perez - Force India/Mercedes - 1m30.156s
#13: Fernando Alonso - McLaren/Renault - 1m30.212s
#14: Stoffel Vandoorne - McLaren/Renault - 1m30.525s
#15: Max Verstappen - Red Bull/Renault - N/A
#16: Romain Grosjean - Haas/Ferrari - 1m30.530s
#17: Marcus Ericsson - Sauber/Ferrari - 1m31.063s
#18: Sergey Sirotkin - Williams/Mercedes - 1m31.414s
#19: Charles Leclerc - Sauber/Ferrari - 1m31.420s
#20: Lance Stroll - Williams/Mercedes - 1m31.503s
I will be watching live, tomorrow on Sky F1 from 4pm.