RED Bull’s Max Verstappen has claimed the season’s first pole, after a stunning driving display which also served as warning to defending champions in the Mercedes camp.
Verstappen qualified in first place in Bahrain, ahead of 7-time world champion Lewis Hamilton and teammate Valteri Bottas.
Verstappen was pleased with his performance but looks forward to lights out. “We had a great testing week but there are no guarantees it translates to race weekends. The car has been working really well and of course I’m happy with the pole. I’m looking forward to tomorrow. We need to get a clean start and take it from there”
Verstappen’s teammate Perez qualified in 11th in his first qualifying session for Red Bull, much to the disappointment of team principal Chris Horner.
Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc qualified in fourth, ahead of AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly. Gasly had a fantastic qualifying session finishing ahead of Mclaren’s Daniel Ricciardo and teammate Lando Norris. Leclerc’s teammate’s Carlos Sainz, who finished the second qualifying session in first place, only managed to qualify in 8th for Sunday’s race.
The top 10 is completed by Alpine’s Fernando Alonso and Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll.