Saying Max Verstappen has dominated the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend so far would be a massive understatement. The Dutchman has outperformed seven-time and defending world champion Lewis Hamilton in all sessions. The Red Bull driver snatched pole position from the Brit by an astounding 0.388 seconds in Saturday's qualifying session.
How Verstappen achieved pole for the Bahrain Grand Prix
Max Verstappen came into the Bahrain Grand Prix brimming with confidence after clocking the fastest time in the pre-season test two weeks ago. Many experts thought Mercedes were sandbagging and expected the champions to dominate the Bahrain Grand Prix.
However, Max Verstappen had other plans. The Dutchman has been at the peak of his powers since the first practice session of the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend. The Red Bull driver dominated all free practice sessions, setting the fastest time in all three.
However, it wasn't all smooth sailing for Verstappen. In Q1 the Dutchman went wide at Turn 2 which marginally damaged the floor of his RB16B. It looked quite worrying from the viewer's perspective. These worries were further justified when Max was around three-tenths slower than Hamilton in Q2.
But the Dutchman turned it around in the final qualifying shoot-out. On their second run in Q3, Lewis Hamilton crossed the line first and set a 1.29.385 to put the Mercedes on provisional pole. Then came Max Verstappen. The Dutchman set purple in all three sectors and posted a time of 1.28.997, beating Hamilton by nearly four-tenths of a second.
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said the floor damage to Max's car cost the Dutchman 0.1 seconds per lap, making his pole position even more impressive.
The race on Sunday is bound to be an explosive affair. Verstappen leads both Mercedes cars on the starting grid, and he will receive no help from his teammate Sergio Perez, who qualified a lowly 11th.
When is the Bahrain Grand Prix Race?
The Bahrain Grand Prix race will take place on 28th March 2021, at 18:00 PM local (Bahrain) time. The race usually lasts for two hours, barring any yellow or red flags.
For fans in the UK, the race begins at 4 PM GMT.
For viewers in the United States, the race will begin at 11 AM Eastern Time.
For fans in India, the Bahrain Grand Prix starts at 8:30 PM IST.