Grand Prix of Bahrain – Qualifying


Mercedes came away from Australia with all the points – BOT heads the Drivers’ Championship by the biggest margin ever, thanks to the new-for-2019 extra point for fastest lap, and with HAM finishing P2 that gives the silver arrows a 22-point lead over Ferrari going in to round 2 of the season.

However, it’s not all going Mercedes’ way in Bahrain: Ferrari topped the timing sheets in all three practice sessions.

  1. FP1: LEC (1:30:354), VET, BOT, HAM, VER
    GIO and HUL came together, launching GIO’s Alfa Romeo into the air; they were summoned to the stewards but no further action was taken [autosport]
  2. FP2: VET (1:28:846), LEC, HAM, BOT, HUL
  3. FP3: LEC (1:29.569), VET, HAM, BOT, GRO

Williams have brought Sir Patrick Head back on “a short-term consultancy basis” to help them tackle their dismal performance. [BBC]

Qualifying session 1 (Q1)
It’s 6pm local time; air temperature 25°C, track 30°C, wind 3.6kph, humidity 55%
The Williams of KUB is first out of the pit lane; he’s on soft tyres
KUB returns to the pits without setting a time
ALB 1:31.125
RUS P2
NOR 1:30.406 despite being blocked by GRO in the final turn
Mercedes and Ferrari are on softs too – looks like everyone using them in Q1
BOT 1:29.498
HAM P2
LEC 1:28.495
Incident involving GRO and NOR under investigation
VET P2
5mins left of Q1; bottom 5 are KVY, GIO, PER, KUB, RUS
HAM P3 – losing a lot of time to VET and LEC in Sector 1
VER (P7) and those above him stay in the garage while everyone else heads out for a final quick lap
Chequered flag; bottom 5 are KVY, GIO, PER, KUB, RUS
KUB P19
KVY P9, STR P16
GIO P12, HUL P16
RUS P19
STR P15, GAS P16
HUL P14, STR P16
GAS P13, GIO P16
Back of the grid: GIO, HUL, STR, RUS, KUB

Qualifying session 2
Everyone seems to be waiting for someone else to go first
Almost 3mins into Q2 before anyone leaves the pits
Radio from HAM complaining about there being a lot of cars ahead of him
BOT 1:28.830
RAI P2
GRO P2
HAM 1:28.578
LEC 1:28.046
(VER P5)
(VET P6) – complains over the radio “worst spot ever” (i.e. where the team sent him out into traffic)
5mins left of Q2; bottom 5 are RIC, GAS, KVY, ALB, PER
Only the top 3 remain in their garage with 2mins to go
BOT’s going out on new soft tyres; just LEC and HAM in the pits
Oh, apparently KVY is still in his garage despite being P13
Chequered flag; bottom 5 are RIC, GAS, KVY, ALB, PER
PER P13
ALB P12
(VET P2)
GAS P13
RIC P11
Middle of the grid: RIC, ALB, GAS, PER, KVY
Apparently GAS had a throttle issue

Qualifying session 3
Top 10 shootout is between LEC, VET, HAM, BOT, MAG, SAI, VER, GRO, NOR and RAI
Mechanics seem to be adjusting something on VER’s rear wing
VET and VER are still in the pits
NOR 1:29.890
RSI P3
GRO 1:29.562
MAG 1:28.757
SAI P2
BOT 1:28.335
HAM 1:28.190
LEC 1:27.958
Order so far: LEC, HAM, BOT, MAG, SAI, GRO, NOR, RAI; no time from VER, VET
2mins left of Q3; everyone on track for a final flying lap
RAI P5
NOR P6
GRO P5
SAI P5
Chequered flag
MAG P4
VET P2
BOT P4
HAM P3
VER P5
LEC 1:27.866
Front of the grid: LEC, VET, HAM, BOT, VER, MAG, SAI, GRO, RAI, NOR

Ferrari equal Williams’ record for front row lockouts (P1+P2)
Someone needs to talk to VET about the hairy caterpillar that he calls a moustache!
VET hangs onto his record as youngest pole sitter

Provisional grid: LEC, VET, HAM, BOT, VER, MAG, SAI, GRO*, RAI, NOR*, RIC, ALB, GAS, PER, KVY, GIO, HUL, STR, RUS, KUB
*Q1 incident involving GRO and NOR under investigation