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Formula 1 2021: Bahrain Grand Prix Qualifying Preview and Prediction - 27th March, 2021

Is Hamilton still the man to beat in qualifying? Photo: Lars Baron/Getty Images.
Is Hamilton still the man to beat in qualifying? Photo: Lars Baron/Getty Images.
Vatsal Vora
ANALYST
Modified 26 Mar 2021
News

The 2021 Formula 1 season kicks off at Sakhir for the Bahrain Grand Prix. The first qualifying session of the year will take place on Saturday, the 27th of March. It will be followed by the race on Sunday, the 28th. The pre-season test showed glimpses of an extremely tight field, and the first practice session of the Bahrain Grand Prix confirmed it. It is safe to say that the upcoming qualifying session on Saturday is going to be extremely close.

Qualifying Preview

Just like every other Formula 1 season, the qualifying session is divided into 3 parts, namely Q1, Q2 and Q3. These sessions will decide the starting grid for the race on Sunday. Every qualifying session lasts for 45 minutes. Q1 takes up 18 minutes, Q2 takes 15 minutes and Q3 is 12 minutes long.

Formula 1 fans might get the championship rivalry they want to see - Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton. Both drivers were evenly matched during the first practice session of the Bahrain Grand Prix, with the Dutchman just edging out the seven-time world champion. However, this is not a two-horse race. McLaren and Ferrari also looked quick during FP1 as they began their charge to the top of the grid.

The midfield is almost impossible to predict this year, especially in the early stages of the season. AlphaTauri is surprisingly close to the top teams and Pierre Gasly, along with Yuki Tsunoda, could set the midfield alight. Haas, who have decided not to develop the car this year, will be set for a long and harsh season at the back of the grid.

Bahrain Grand Prix Qualifying Predictions

Even though the likes of McLaren, Ferrari and AlphaTauri look promising, it's tough to look beyond Mercedes or Red Bull for pole position. Lewis Hamilton is just two poles away from a staggering 100 pole positions in Formula 1. Meanwhile, his closest rival this season, Max Verstappen, looked very quick and comfortable in his new RB16B.

Despite being closer to Mercedes than ever before, Red Bull will have to find something special to beat Lewis Hamilton. The seven-time world champion is still the man to beat in the qualifying trim.

Mercedes are infamous for hiding their true pace until Q3 on Saturday. Judging from the past, we expect Hamilton and Mercedes to reveal their true colors and snatch pole position from Red Bull and Verstappen in the dying moments of the qualifying session for the Bahrain Grand Prix.

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When is the Bahrain Grand Prix qualifying?

The qualifying session for the Bahrain Grand Prix is going to take place on 27th March 2021, at 18:00 PM local (Bahrain) time.

For fans in the UK, the qualifying session begins at 3 PM GMT.

For viewers in the United States, qualifying will begin at 11 AM Eastern Time.

For fans in India, qualifying begins at 8:30 PM IST.

Also read: Formula 1 2021: Where to watch Bahrain Grand Prix qualifying?

Bahrain Grand Prix - Race Information

For the first time since 2010, Bahrain will host the opening round of the Formula 1 World Championship. The Bahrain International Circuit is 5.4 kms long and comprises of 15 corners with 2 DRS zones. The Bahrain Grand Prix will be 57 laps long under the bright lights of the circuit. For this weekend, Pirelli have brought the C4 (Soft), C3 (Medium) and C2 (Hard) as the tire choices.

Published 26 Mar 2021, 20:58 IST
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