Leclerc, Ferrari Caps Strong Weekend With 1-2 Front Row Sweep, McLaren Quietly Strong

After a disappointment in the season opener in Australia, the Ferrari’s are flexing their muscles this weekend at the Bahrain International Circuit. In practice, they were 1-2 in all three sessions around the Sakhir road course. In qualifying, they were 1-2 in all three rounds too.

Second year Formula One driver Charles Leclerc ended up winning the pole for Sunday’s Bahrain Grand Prix with a lap of 1:27.866-seconds in his No. 16 Ferrari. The final qualifying lap gives him his first career F1 pole and makes Leclerc the second youngest F1 pole winner.

The time also is a track record at that too.

His teammate Sebastian Vettel will start alongside in second as the two-time defending race winner circled the 3.363-mile track with a time of 1:28.160-seconds in his No. 5 Ferrari.

Leclerc, was first, second and first respectively in practice and starts on the pole. Vettel, was second, first and second in practice and will roll off second.

This will be the 62nd time Ferrari will start an F1 race 1-2.

Row 2 is an all Mercedes row with Lewis Hamilton starting third (1:28.190-seconds) and last race winner Valtteri Bottas (1:28.256-seconds) rolling off fourth.

Hamilton, hasn’t won in Bahrain since 2015 and was fourth, third and third respectively in his No. 44 Mercedes in practice.

Bottas, finished third in this race in 2017 and runner-up a year ago in his No. 77 Mercedes. He was third, fourth and fourth respectively in practice this weekend.

Max Verstappen (1:28.752-seconds) rounded out the top five in his Aston Martin Red Bull Racing Honda. His teammate Pierre Gasly has struggled once again this weekend. He didn’t make it out of Q1 in Australia and didn’t get out of Q2 in Bahrain. He starts 13th.

Gasly, finished an impressive fourth in this race last year as a rookie, but he was only 11th in Australia, his first race with RBR, and only sixth, 12th and 12th respectively in practice in his No. 10 Honda.

McLaren has been the surprise team of the race weekend. Rookie Lando Norris was 15th, eighth and seventh respectively in practice and will start his No. 4 entry 10th on Sunday. His teammate Carlos Sainz Jr. will roll off seventh after being seventh, 11th and ninth respectively in his No. 55 entry in practice this weekend.

Bahrain Grand Prix Starting Lineup

Row 1: Charles Leclerc, Sebastian Vettel

Row 2: Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas

Row 3: Max Verstappen, Kevin Magnussen

Row 4: Carlos Sainz Jr., Romain Grosjean

Row 5: Kimi Raikkonen, Lando Norris R

Row 6: Daniel Ricciardo, Alexander Albon R

Row 7: Pierre Gasly, Sergio Perez

Row 8: Daniil Kvyat, Antonio, Giovinazzi R

Row 9: Nico Hulkenberg, Lance Stroll

Row 10: George Russell R, Robert Kubica

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