F1 Bahrain Grand Prix: Qualifying Recap


Page Contents


Williams have been left at the back of the leaderboard in the first sessions of the season, and qualifying did not start promisingly for the Grove team. Robert Kubica left the pits first, but drove back in from his first timed lap, possibly implying problems or at least illustrating the hopeless slump the team is currently in. The Pole did complete a lap later in Q1, but finished last, behind teammate George Russell.

Lando Norris came close of colliding with Haas’s Romain Grosjean in the final corner. Norris was on a fast lap while Grosjean slowed down preparing to start his own, unaware of the speeding Briton behind him. Norris managed to slow his McLaren and avoided rear-ending Grosjean, to whom Norris gave instant feedback in team radio: “The guy just blocked me in the final corner.”

It was a disappointing Q1 for Renault and Nico Hulkenberg, the German somewhat surprisingly eliminated in the first session alongside both Williams, Lance Stroll and Antonio Giovinazzi after posting a 17th-best time.


Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc was in control of the rest of the grid in Q2, with his first run being over half a second faster than second-fastest Lewis Hamilton. Leclerc’s teammate Sebastian Vettel complained about a bad gap on track as he lost over a second to the Frenchman.

Pierre Gasly is still looking for a Q3 appearance with Red Bull after being eliminated in Q2 with only a 42-thousandths of a second difference to 10th-placed Kimi Räikkönen of Alfa Romeo. A second disappointment in a row and another cumbersome Sunday ahead for Gasly.

Renault still could not make it into Q3, with Ricciardo left in 11th place. Renault’s situation definitely won’t be eased by the fact that both Renault-powered McLarens made it into the top 10 for the first time since Malaysia 2017.


Leclerc continued asserting his dominance over the rest of the drivers with another fastest first run. Sebastian Vettel was forced to stay in his garage, following a making a mistake Q2 which left him with just a single attempt at pole.

Vettel finished two and a half 10ths short of Leclerc’s first run, while Hamilton and Bottas couldn’t challenge the Ferraris. The Frenchman finished off qualifying by improving his time, bagging his first pole in his only second Grand Prix for Ferrari. Leclerc’s pole and the all-Ferrari front-row sends an ominous signal to the Silver Arrows who occupy the second row, but by a significant time margin. The primary question for the race is: Will Ferrari make good on their promise to Vettel that he’ll stay No.1? Or will Charles Leclerc be free to chase his first win in Formula 1?

Words by Mikael Kataja

Leave a Comment

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Recommended For You

Lando Norris

Why Lando Norris Was The Quiet Star Of The 2021 Bahrain GP

The recently-concluded Bahrain GP was not devoid of any drama, ...
2021 Bahrain Grand Prix, Sunday - Lewis Hamilton

Key Talking Points From A Cracker Of A 2021 Bahrain GP

Before the 2021 Bahrain GP began, all eyes were transfixed ...
Formula 1 Podcast | Grid Talk Ep 95 | 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix Review

Formula 1 Grid Talk Episode 95: 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix Review

Welcome to Episode 95 of our Formula 1 podcast, Grid ...
Formula 1 Podcast | Grid Talk Episode 94 | 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix Qualifying Analysis

Formula 1 Grid Talk Episode 94: 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix Qualifying Analysis

Welcome to Episode 94 of our Formula 1 podcast, Grid ...
Fernando Alonso

Drivers New And Old Add Spice To Desert Opener

New drivers on the grid, the return of a former ...

More in News

AUSTIN, TEXAS - OCTOBER 23: Pole position qualifier Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Red Bull Racing celebrates in parc ferme during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of USA at Circuit of The Americas on October 23, 2021 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202110240073 // Usage for editorial use only //

Max Verstappen Snatches Dramatic USA GP Pole

In the dying moments, Max Verstappen snatched pole position for ...
2021 United States Grand Prix, Saturday - Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton Pipped To Pole In Texas

Lewis Hamilton will start the United States Grand Prix from ...
Pole Man Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, With His Pirelli Pole Position Award

2021 United States Grand Prix: Qualifying Tyre Analysis

2021 United States Grand Prix: Qualifying Tyre Analysis - With ...
AUSTIN, TEXAS - OCTOBER 22: Sergio Perez of Mexico driving the (11) Red Bull Racing RB16B Honda of The Americas on October 22, 2021 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202110221235 // Usage for editorial use only //

Sergio Perez Fastest On Day 1 At COTA

Red Bull's Sergio Perez has topped the timesheets on the ...
Lando Norris, Mclaren, With A Special Helmet Design

Lando Norris Off To Fast Start In Austin

McLaren driver Lando Norris is off to a fast start ...

Trending on F1 Chronicle