Red Bull on pole for Bahrain GP

BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN - MARCH 04: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands and Oracle Red Bull Racing prepares to drive in the garage during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Bahrain at Bahrain International Circuit on March 04, 2023 in Bahrain, Bahrain. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

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:

1Max VerstappenRed Bull1m31.295s1m30.503s1m29.708s
2Sergio PérezRed Bull1m31.479s1m30.746s1m29.846s
3Charles LeclercFerrari1m31.094s1m30.282s1m30s
4Carlos Sainz Jr.Ferrari1m30.993s1m30.515s1m30.154s
5Fernando AlonsoAston Martin-Mercedes1m31.158s1m30.645s
6George RussellMercedes1m31.057s1m30.507s1m30.34s
7Lewis HamiltonMercedes1m31.543s1m30.513s1m30.384s
8Lance StrollAston Martin-Mercedes1m31.184s1m31.127s1m30.836s
9Esteban OconAlpine-Renault1m31.508s1m30.914s1m30.984s
10Nico HülkenbergHaas-Ferrari1m31.204s1m30.809s
11Lando NorrisMcLaren-Mercedes1m31.652s1m31.381s
12Valtteri BottasAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1m31.504s1m31.443s
13Guanyu ZhouAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1m31.615s1m31.473s
14Yuki TsunodaAlphaTauri-Honda RBPT1m31.4s1m32.51s
15Alex AlbonWilliams-Mercedes1m31.461s
16Logan SargeantWilliams-Mercedes1m31.652s
17Kevin MagnussenHaas-Ferrari1m31.892s
18Oscar PiastriMcLaren-Mercedes1m32.101s
19Nyck de VriesAlphaTauri-Honda RBPT1m32.121s
20Pierre GaslyAlpine-Renault1m32.181s
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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!

Paul Kiefer

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.

Tim C

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.