F1 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix - Qualifying results
The grid has been set for the first Formula 1 race of 2023 for the Bahrain Grand Prix - here are the all-important qualifying results from Sakhir.
The first qualifying session of the 2023 Formula 1 season is in the books, with Max Verstappen taking pole for the Bahrain Grand Prix.
A 1:29.708s effort was good enough for the World Champion to secure P1 Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez riding shotgun on the front-row.
Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc was third did not emerge for his second Q3 lap after a car problem.
Verstappen pumped in a time of 1m 29.897s on his first Q3 run before improving to a 1m 29.708s the next time around, eclipsing Perez by 0.138s and netting a 21st career pole position in the process.
Ferrari locked out the second row of the grid, with Charles Leclerc ahead of Carlos Sainz despite the Monegasque not completing a second run in the pole position shootout – instead saving a set of tyres for race day.
Fernando Alonso and Aston Martin’s charge continued with a strong run to fifth, slotting ahead of George Russell and Lewis Hamilton, as Mercedes found themselves unable to join in the fight for pole.
After missing pre-season testing due to wrist injuries sustained in a training accident, Lance Stroll battled his way eighth, in front of Esteban Ocon (Alpine) and impressive F1 returnee Nico Hulkenberg (Haas).
Lando Norris missed a Q3 spot by a couple of tenths as McLaren continued to recover from a tricky pre-season, putting his MCL60 11th on the grid, ahead of Alfa Romeo pair Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu.
Yuki Tsunoda was the lead AlphaTauri driver in 14th position, with Alex Albon getting his Williams into Q2 – albeit abandoning his sole flying lap and therefore ending the second phase without a time.
F1 rookie Logan Sargeant almost joined team mate Albon in Q2 at the first time of asking, setting an identical time to 15th-placed Norris towards the end of Q1, but the American dropped out due to his time being posted later.
Sargeant still did enough to put his Williams a respectable 16th on the grid, in front of Kevin Magnussen – who could not live with the pace of high-flying team mate Hulkenberg – and fellow 2023 newcomers Oscar Piastri and Nyck de Vries.
A big shock in Q1 saw Pierre Gasly eliminated in P20 during his first qualifying session with new team Alpine, meaning the Frenchman will line up at the very back of the grid on Sunday – Gasly having had a lap time deleted.