RACE DEBRIEF

    An absorbing qualifying session saw Max Verstappen take pole for the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix over Lewis Hamilton, throwing up some interesting stats and facts along the way...

    • Verstappen denied Mercedes pole position in the season-opener for the first time in the hybrid era.

    • For the first time in his career, Verstappen has taken consecutive pole positions.

    READ MORE: Verstappen takes pole for 2021 season opener after outpacing Mercedes in Bahrain

    • Hamilton has never started on the front-row with Verstappen on pole.

    • Hamilton will start second but nobody has won from second here since Nico Rosberg in 2016.

    • Valtteri Bottas starts third. If the podium remains like this, Hamilton, Bottas and Verstappen will tie the all-time record for most podiums including the same three drivers; Hamilton, Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel shared the podium 14 times.

    Formula One World Championship
    Bottas starts third and could join Verstappen and Hamilton on the podium for the 14th time
    • Charles Leclerc tied Ferrari's best qualification from 2020, as he was fourth on four occasions last year.

    • Pierre Gasly matched his best-ever Bahrain performance with P5. He finished fourth for Toro Rosso from P5 in 2018.

    • Daniel Ricciardo has out-qualified team mates on all 11 visits to Bahrain. He qualified sixth on Saturday.

    READ MORE: 'It's definitely closer than we expected' – Hamilton surprised by gap between Red Bull and Mercedes

    • Carlos Sainz led Q2 and ended up eighth on the grid. Ferrari led one session or qualifying segment in the entire 2020 season with Vettel top in a very wet Hungary FP2.

    • Ferrari had both cars in Q3 for the first time since the 2020 British GP.

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    Leclerc has equalled Ferrari's best qualification from 2020, with fourth here
    • Alpine's two-time champion Fernando Alonso (P9) reached Q3 for the first time since 2018 Monaco, ending a 15-race drought.

    • Sergio Perez was knocked out in Q2, qualifying 11th for Red Bull. Alex Albon was knocked out in Q2 three times last season, including the Sakhir GP that Perez won.

    • Aston Martin's Vettel qualified 18th. He was knocked out in Q1 just once last year, at Monza.

    READ MORE: ‘I missed this feeling’ – Alonso revels in ‘amazing’ Q3 appearance as he makes qualifying return for Alpine

    • Esteban Ocon managed P16 for Alpine. He was not eliminated in Q1 last season, the last time being in Hungary 2018.

    • Williams' George Russell, 15th, has still never been out-qualified by a Williams team mate.

    • Mick Schumacher out-qualified Haas team mate Nikita Mazepin on their debuts. Michael Schumacher out-qualified then-team mate Andrea de Cesaris by 0.774s on his debut at Spa, in 1991.

    Formula One World Championship
    Russell has retained his 100% qualifying streak over Williams team mates