Bahrain GP: Lewis Hamilton untouchable in qualifying for the 98th F1 pole position

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Watch the Bahrain GP qualifying final stages as Lewis Hamilton claimed another brilliant pole position.

Watch the final stages of Bahrain GP qualifying as Lewis Hamilton clinched another brilliant pole position.

Lewis Hamilton saw his rivals rise to the challenge of winning the 98th pole of his F1 career in his first race as a seven-time world champion at the Bahrain GP.

Hamilton dominated all three qualifying sessions under the lights of Sakhir and was ultimately untouchable in the decisive phase of Q3 to seal his 10th pole of the year to his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas by 0.289 with a lap of 1: 27.264.

Max Verstappen had been Hamilton’s closest challenger until the final laps, but was demoted to third place by Bottas, 0.414s off pole.

Alex Albon recovered from his costly crash on Friday to secure a second row lockout for Red Bull at an important, albeit distant fourth place, slightly ahead of Racing Point’s Sergio Perez, who is fighting for the Thai driver’s seat .

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Perez was only half a tenth behind Red Bull to win the midfield fight for Racing Point against Renault duo Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon, themselves separated by just 0.002s.

McLaren suffered from the disappointment as, despite having good form through practice, Lando Norris was their lead rider in the ninth after Carlos Sainz broke up early in Q2 with an apparent technical problem with his car.

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After a good start from McLaren in qualifying, Carlos Sainz will turn in Q2, which means he will not start higher than 15th tomorrow.

After a good start from McLaren in qualifying, Carlos Sainz will turn in Q2, which means he will not start higher than 15th tomorrow.

Sainz will not start higher than the 15th.

Ferrari locked down the front row during F1’s last visit to Bahrain in March 2019 but, despite a recent improvement with the SF1000, the power-sensitive track once again exposed their weaknesses in 2020 and their two drivers have been eliminated in the second quarter.

Champion Hamilton shows no mercy

Two weeks after tying F1’s most prestigious record with his seventh world championship title, Hamilton has so far shown no slackening of the clock throughout Bahrain’s weekend.

With other records still in sight in the last three races of this year – like matching Schumacher and Vettel’s numbers for most wins in a single F1 season – Hamilton still has tangible goals to aim for.

“I really did not celebrate [my seventh title] too much to be honest, ”Hamilton said.

“It’s because I was training and keeping my mind and my eyes on the ball.

“It’s a continuation of what we are able to achieve as a team, I continue to be amazed by my guys. ”

Verstappen, who had dominated the final practice, finished second behind Hamilton in Q2 and then again in the opening rounds of the pole shootout, but was unable to generate the grip of his soft tires to break the first row from Mercedes.

“My lap was pretty good,” said the Dutchman, who qualified third nine times in 15 races this year.

“Just lacks rear grip in the corners at low speed for my taste. But overall I think it was a decent qualifying – let’s see how we are in the race tomorrow because it’s very hard on the tires.

“I hope we made the right compromise for this. ”

More soon…

Bahrain GP qualifying result
1) Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes
2) Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes
3) Max Verstappen, Red Bull
4) Alexander Albon, Red Bull
5) Sergio Perez, Racing Point
6) Daniel Ricciardo, Renault
7) Esteban Ocon, Renault
8) Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri
9) Lando Norris, McLaren
10) Daniil Kvyat, AlphaTauri
Eliminated in the second trimester
11) Sébastien Vettel, Ferrari
12) Charles Leclerc, Ferrari
13) Lance Stroll, Racing Point
14) George Russell, Williams
15) Carlos Sainz, McLaren
Eliminated in the first trimester
16) Antonio Giovinazzi, Alfa Romeo
17) Kimi Raikkonen, Alfa Romeo
18) Kevin Magnussen, Haas
19) Romain Grosjean, Haas
20) Nicholas Latifi, Williams

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