Valtteri Bottas made it three different pole-sitters in the first three races of 2019 as Mercedes locked out the front row, ahead of the 1000th Grand Prix!
Bottas dominated in practice and qualifying, compared to teammate Lewis Hamilton. However, Hamilton found a lot of time in Q3 and managed to get within half a tenth at the end of the session. After the first run in Q3, 0.007 seconds separated the pair but Bottas posted a 1:31.547 to increase the gap to a huge 0.023 seconds to take his seventh pole position in Formula One.
There will be mixed emotions at Ferrari as they were miles off Mercedes in Q1 and Q2 but managed to get within three tenths of the Silver Arrows with Sebastian Vettel qualifying in third a couple of hundredths ahead of teammate Charles Leclerc. Both Ferrari drivers said that they could’ve found more time so there is still hope that they can mix it in with Bottas and Hamilton tomorrow. Mercedes were in the same position in Bahrain and managed to get a 1-2. Can Ferrari pull off a huge upset tomorrow? Who knows!
Red Bull were having a strong qualifying session as both cars -finally- managed to make it to Q3 and in the first part of Q3, Max Verstappen even managed to split the Ferrari’s! However, Red Bull were caught out when everyone was backing up for track position which meant that both cars didn’t cross the line in time which resulted in them locked to the third row. Max in fifth and Pierre in sixth.
Renault were best of the rest with Daniel Ricciardo managing to out-qualify Nico Hulkenberg. Both Renault’s were close to Pierre Gasly’s laptime of a 1:32.930 but were just under a tenth away from splitting the Red Bull’s. A well needed boost for Renault after their nightmare in Bahrain.
Haas managed to lock out the fifth row of the grid as both drivers made it through to Q3 but they didn’t manage to post a single laptime in. This meant that Romain Grosjean out-qualified Kevin Magnussen as he came out of the pits first!
Elsewhere, Danill Kvyat will be the first driver with a free tyre choice in 11th which could prove to be very crucial in the race and after their encouraging Bahrain Grand Prix, McLaren had a very disappointing qualifying session and could only qualify 14th and 15th.
Article by Ollie Cassidy