Fastest (time-wise) F1 times ever for Mercedes

The Sportspedia

Sakhir, Bahrein

Several things can happen tomorrow at the Sakhir Grand Prix in the Outer Loop Circuit, as today’s volatile Qualifying session proved. The short length of this track will generate situations of draft and traffic that can make the race a very unpredictable one.

Even without Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes was able to seal the full first row for tomorrow. Valtteri Bottas (FIN) lapped .026 seconds ahead of his interim teammate, George Russell (ENG), who headed the first two practice sessions. The pole position time was 53.377 segundos, the lap with shortest time in history of F1.

It is no surprise that Max Verstappen (NED, Red Bull) was third but he is too close for Mercedes’ comfort, just .056 seconds adrift. He was followed by Charles Leclerc (MON, Ferrari) with a great lap only .236 behind, and Sergio Pérez (MEX, Racing Point) closed the top 5 .413 off the pole. The Mexican driver was second in Q2 and at some point had the track record during Q2.

The Honda had a good performance overall in this acceleration track. Beyond Verstappen’s third, the AlphaTauris made it to Q3 Q3, with Danii Kvyat (RUS) sixth and Pierre Gasly (FRA) ninth. The Honda that did not have a good result was Alex Albon’s (THA, Red Bull), in 12th. Team Director, Christian Horner, did not seem to love that.

Ricciardo (AUS, Renault) and Sainz (ESP, McLaren) were the other drivers in Q3 while his teammates Esteban Ocon (FRA, Renault) and Lando Norris (ENG, McLaren) did not make it through. Norris blamed himself for going out too early and he apologized with the team.

Te session had two débutantes. Jack Aitken (ENG, Williams) was in Q2 for a bit and was lapping better than teammate Nicholas Latifi (CAN) but in the end the Canadian would make a better lap, albeit just one tenth ahead. Good job by Aitken. The other débutante, Pietro Fittipaldi (BRA, Haas) was last and the only driver not to lap under 55 seconds, but he kept “on the pace” throughout.

It could be a great race tomorrow!

Sakhir Grand Prix Qualifying Results:

177Valtteri BottasMERCEDES53.90453.80353.37724
263George RussellMERCEDES54.16053.81953.40325
333Max VerstappenRED BULL RACING HONDA54.03753.64753.43317
416Charles LeclercFERRARI54.24953.82553.61321
511Sergio PerezRACING POINT BWT MERCEDES54.23653.78753.79017
626Daniil KvyatALPHATAURI HONDA54.34653.85653.90626
73Daniel RicciardoRENAULT54.38853.87153.95715
855Carlos SainzMCLAREN RENAULT54.45053.81854.01020
910Pierre GaslyALPHATAURI HONDA54.20753.94154.15428
1018Lance StrollRACING POINT BWT MERCEDES54.59553.84054.20019
1131Esteban OconRENAULT54.30953.99513
1223Alexander AlbonRED BULL RACING HONDA54.62054.02612
135Sebastian VettelFERRARI54.30154.17517
1499Antonio GiovinazziALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI54.52354.37714
154Lando NorrisMCLAREN RENAULT54.19454.69315
1620Kevin MagnussenHAAS FERRARI54.7059
176Nicholas LatifiWILLIAMS MERCEDES54.79611
1889Jack AitkenWILLIAMS MERCEDES54.8929
197Kimi RäikkönenALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI54.96311
2051Pietro FittipaldiHAAS FERRARI55.42611