Sebastian Vettel Seizes Pole for the 2018 F1 Bahrain Grand Prix
The Ferrari driver's P1 puts him in position to win his second Grand Prix of the year.
Sebastian Vettel's engine problems that surfaced at the end of Free Practice 3 seem not to have carried forward into qualifying where Vettel pushed through to Q3, taking pole position, and setting an absolute lap record at Bahrain International Circuit with his 1:27.958. Vettel's teammate, Kimi Räikkönen, who has been faster for much of the season so far, succumbed to Vettel's pace, settling into P2.
Competing frontrunners Red Bull and Mercedes had qualifying results hampered by accidents and unreliability. Daniel Ricciardo of the former was unaffected, reaching P5 in Q3, but Max Verstappen dropped the ball in Q1, spinning his RB14 into the wall. His fastest time was enough to secure his passage into Q2, but with no car to set a time, he dropped to the bottom of Q2 results and will start P15.
Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas could only manage P3, his teammate Lewis Hamilton P4 behind him, but with Hamilton's five-place grid penalty for a transmission change, he will start P9, giving up his second-row slot to Ricciardo.
Further back, Toro Rosso-Honda will see its best race start of the season with Pierre Gasly benefiting from Hamilton's penalty and starting P5. He will share the third row with Haas' Kevin Magnussen, whose teammate Romain Grosjean was knocked out in Q1, having set a time identical to that of McLaren's Fernando Alonso: 1:30.530. Because the Spaniard set the time first, he was given entry to Q2, which he completed P13, while Grosjean will start P16.
The full starting grid can be found below.
- Sebastian Vettel/Ferrari - 1:27.958
- Kimi Räikkönen/Ferrari - 1:28.101
- Valtteri Bottas/Mercedes - 1:28.124
- Daniel Ricciardo/Red Bull - 1:28.398
- Pierre Gasly/Toro Rosso-Honda - 1:29.329
- Kevin Magnussen/Haas - 1:29.358
- Nico Hülkenberg/Renault - 1:29.570
- Esteban Ocon/Force India - 1:29.874
- Lewis Hamilton/Mercedes - 1:28.220 (5-place grid penalty)
- Carlos Sainz/Renault - 1:29.986
- Brendon Hartley/Toro Rosso-Honda - 1:30.105
- Sergio Perez/Force India - 1:30.156
- Fernando Alonso/McLaren - 1:30.212
- Stoffel Vandoorne/McLaren - 1:30.525
- Max Verstappen/Red Bull - No Q2 time
- Romain Grosjean/Haas - 1:30.530
- Marcus Ericsson/Alfa Romeo Sauber - 1:31.063
- Sergey Sirotkin/Williams - 1:31.414
- Charles Leclerc/Alfa Romeo Sauber - 1:31.420
- Lance Stroll/Williams - 1:31.503
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