Max Verstappen throws the gauntlet down to Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes!
The Dutchman lives up to his role as favorite in qualifying for the Formula 1 start in Bahrain and puts his Red Bull on pole position for the fourth time. Verstappen takes world champion Hamilton almost four tenths off.
«We work the same as before and do our job. We’re not talking about the role of favorites. But of course a good start helps, ”says Verstappen in an interview with David Coulthard after qualifying. The Scottish Formula 1 legend celebrates its 50th birthday and for this he receives a cake from Verstappen.
Hamilton, on the other hand, is less in the cake mood: “The last lap was not perfect. We still have to find the coordination with the new tires. ” In fact, the underbody castrated for this season and the heavier tires seem to accommodate the Red Bull’s steeper angle of attack more than the Mercedes.
Valtteri Bottas finished third in the second Mercedes ahead of Charles Leclerc. However, the Ferrari driver has to start the race on the soft tires on Sunday. In addition to the two Mercedes, only Verstappen and Pierre Gasly drive on the medium tires.
The two Alfa-Sauber confirm the positive impressions from the test drives: Antonio Giovinazzi starts in twelfth place, Kimi Räikkönen from position 14. In the “Hinwil Sandwich”, Yuki Tsunoda is the man of the hour. Like colleague Gasly (5th), the Japanese rookie shows that the fight against Alpha Tauri will be tough for Alfa-Sauber.
Vettel fails early
Sebastian Vettel experienced a debacle: In his first serious fight after switching from Ferrari to Aston Martin, the four-time world champion stuck in Q1 – only starting position 18 for the German. “I had yellow flares twice,” he explains his crash landing.
As expected, the youngsters Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin with the two Haas form the last row on the grid. Whereby Schumi junior has his faulty team-mate easily under control.
Click here for the starting grid.
Team principal Frédéric Vasseur: “We have achieved our goal of getting both cars into Q2. The fact that we ourselves only missed the top 10 by a tenth shows our progress. This is thanks to our team. We are more competitive than last year, but we have to keep working. ”
Kimi Räikkönen (14th place): “That’s not a bad result for the first qualifying with the new car. I made some small mistakes. And the changes to the car after the morning did not work out quite as hoped. Let’s see what is possible in the race. ”
Antonio Giovinazzi (12th place): “We can be happy with this result, just behind the top 10 with the free choice of tires. The wind will play a big role on Sunday. Points are safe in there. “
Published: 03/27/2021, 6:23 p.m.
Last updated: March 27, 2021, 6:49 pm