FACTS AND STATS: A first front row lock out in Bahrain for Red Bull, as Verstappen chases his first win here

Virtual Statman

Sean Kelly
BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN - MARCH 04: Pole position qualifier Max Verstappen of the Netherlands and Oracle

Qualifying in Bahrain delivered an incredibly tight fight right the way through the field, with Max Verstappen prevailing for Red Bull to grab his second ever pole position in Bahrain. With Sergio Perez starting alongside the Dutchman, it was a good night for the Bulls, but who else did well under the lights in Sakhir? Here are the best facts and stats from the opening qualifying of the season…

  • Red Bull scored consecutive front row lock outs for the first time since the 2013 Abu Dhabi and US Grands Prix.

  • Max Verstappen grabbed his 21st career pole on his Dad’s 51st birthday.

  • Verstappen has started more races at this track than any other without winning after nine previous visits here have yet to yield a victory.

READ MORE: Verstappen beats Perez to pole for 2023 opener in Bahrain GP qualifying thriller

  • Sergio Perez has his first ever top three start here, despite having won in Sakhir in 2020.

  • Red Bull had never previously locked out the front row at this track.

  • The top four on the grid is identical to the top four from the last race of 2022.

BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN - MARCH 04: Third placed qualifier Charles Leclerc of Monaco and Ferrari looks on

Leclerc has never won from outside the front row

  • Charles Leclerc starts third, having never previously won a race from below the front row.

  • Carlos Sainz is P4, with every race at this track layout having been won from inside the top four.

  • Fernando Alonso is fifth, for his highest start in Bahrain in the hybrid era.

  • Alonso’s P5 matches Aston Martin’s previous best-ever Q3 performance on pure pace, from Sebastian Vettel’s fifth at Spa in 2021.

  • George Russell was sixth, starting in the same position as he did at the final race in 2022.

TECH TALK: F1's development race is on in Bahrain

  • Lewis Hamilton was just behind in seventh, the first time he’s been out-qualified by a team mate in Bahrain since 2018.

  • This was also his worst qualifying in Bahrain in his career after 16 previous visits.

  • Lance Stroll was eighth for his best ever start in Bahrain, having only reached Q3 three times last year.

  • Esteban Ocon starts ninth, ending a run of three consecutive failures to reach Q3 at this track.

  • Nico Hulkenberg qualified 10th, reaching Q3 here for the second straight year.


Alonso managed his best qualifying in Bahrain in the turbo-hybrid era

  • Neither McLaren made it to Q3 for the second year in a row.

  • Valtteri Bottas was 12th, his team mate 13th, with the duo separated by just 0.030s.

  • This also saw a run of ten consecutive top six starts here for Bottas come to an end.

  • Yuki Tsunoda has scored in both his previous starts here despite never reaching Q3.

  • Lando Norris only made it through to Q2 because he set his time before Logan Sargeant, with the two recording identical lap times.

WATCH: F1 for beginners – Everything you need to know about F1 ahead of the new season

  • Oscar Piastri matched Daniel Ricciardo’s qualifying here from last season of P18.

  • Pierre Gasly had reached Q3 in four previous appearances here before tonight – but wound up P20 after losing a lap time to track limits.


Coming Up

Coming Up


‘It’s a very special race’ – F1 drivers reflect on Le Mans 24 Hours and whether they would ever take part