Twenty drivers took to qualifying for the 2021 F1 Bahrain Grand Prix this evening, with Max Verstappen from Red Bull emerging as the fastest. This puts to rest all the speculation about Mercedes not showing their true potential.
The Red Bull driver trumped the 7-time F1 world champion, Lewis Hamilton, by almost 4 tenths of a second to claim pole position for the Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday.
Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas took third in the time sheets. Unfortunately, Sergio Perez, who made the move from Racing Point to Red Bull this season, had a lacklustre outing on his highly anticipated debut with the top team.
He failed to get out of Q2 and couldn't manage better than 11th.
How the others fared in the Bahrain Grand Prix qualifying
The F1 2021 mid-pack is closer than ever
The mid-pack of F1 2021 comprising of AlphaTauri, Ferrari, McLaren and Alpine were hard to tell apart. They were all running close throughout qualifying for the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Daniel Ricciardo, in his debut outing for McLaren, managed to outclass his talented teammate Lando Norris. The McLaren drivers will start 6th and 7th respectively. Ferrari's Carlos Sainz came 8th, as he is still coming to grips with the car.
Looking at it from the Bahrain Grand Prix qualifying standings, Ferrari have a lot to do to keep up with the top two.
Fernando Alonso, in a much talked about return to F1, showed that he hasn't lost any pace in his two years away from the sport. He demonstrated his prowess by managing to qualify 9th, despite the Bahrain Grand Prix being his first race since returning to the sport.
Lance Stroll, driving the Aston Martin car, rounded off the top 10. Aston Martin are making their debut in F1 at the Bahrain Grand Prix.
The struggling backmarkers
Alfa Romeo punched above their weight by placing 12th and 14th on the grid. Antonio Giovinazzi managed to outqualify Kimi Raikkonen, the most experienced man in F1, to claim the bragging rights within the team.
George Russell once again got out of Q3 to show why he is such a highly rated talent. He managed to qualify 15th. His teammate Nicholas Latifi managed a 17th in the same car. The results might not show it, but Williams are certainly in a better condition than they were a season ago.
Sebastian Vettel was unfortunate to be caught in the same yellow flag situation as Ocon and could only manage 18th. He is expected to charge through this pack in the race tomorrow.
Haas debutants and F2 graduates Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin completed the Bahrain Grand Prix race grid with 19th and 20th respectively.