If qualifying for the Bahrain GP is any indicator for the pecking order for the 2023 Formula 1 season, then Red Bull may be in good shape for the balance of the year.
Max Verstappen was followed home to the front row by his teammate, Sergio Perez. the Red Bull duo were followed by the Ferrari duo of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz. Leclerc opted to only make a single run in Q3 to save a set of fresh soft tires for the race.
What might be a bit of a surprise is to see Fernando Alonso’s Aston Martin beat both Mercedes to 5th on the grid and another interesting point that George Russell beat Lewis Hamilton to 6th.
Many pundits said Aston Martin could be fighting for podiums in 2023 and for me, I thought that was a big jump from 7th in the constructor’s championship in 2022 but Fernando has just suggested, the pundits could be right.
Bahrain GP Qualifying Results:
|1||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||1m31.295s||1m30.503s||1m29.708s|
|2||Sergio Pérez||Red Bull||1m31.479s||1m30.746s||1m29.846s|
|4||Carlos Sainz Jr.||Ferrari||1m30.993s||1m30.515s||1m30.154s|
|5||Fernando Alonso||Aston Martin-Mercedes||1m31.158s||1m30.645s|
|8||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin-Mercedes||1m31.184s||1m31.127s||1m30.836s|
|12||Valtteri Bottas||Alfa Romeo-Ferrari||1m31.504s||1m31.443s|
|13||Guanyu Zhou||Alfa Romeo-Ferrari||1m31.615s||1m31.473s|
|14||Yuki Tsunoda||AlphaTauri-Honda RBPT||1m31.4s||1m32.51s|
|19||Nyck de Vries||AlphaTauri-Honda RBPT||1m32.121s|
I tought MB was doing their normal sandbagging routine, but I guess they are really down from their usual top shelf. Wow Hulkenberg and poor McLaren I’m looking forward to Alonso racing for the lead. Let’s go racing!
Note that the entire field was separated by just 1.1 seconds. That is going to make for an interesting race, and perhaps an interesting season.
A 1.1 second separation gap during qualifying is nothing . . . the blink of an eye. What I’m looking forward to seeing is how close the field is at the drop of the checkered flag.