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What the teams said - Qualifying in Bahrain

Special Contributor

Becky Hart
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Teams Quali Bahrain 2024.jpg

Red Bull

After a tricky Friday on the track, Red Bull seemed to get their car in a better window in FP3. They didn’t go into qualifying as heavy favourites, such was the form of the rest but once that session started, Verstappen managed to find his best form to snatch pole away from his rivals. Even he seemed slightly surprised by the result, especially since he thinks his car is going to be better in race trim. Perez couldn’t quite match his team mate, but made the top 10 with ease to wind up a solid fifth on the grid.

READ MORE: Verstappen thrilled with ‘unexpected’ pole in Bahrain but prepares for another ‘close’ race-day battle

Max Verstappen, 1st, 1:29.179

“It feels good to be back on pole today! Testing was really good and then this weekend was a bit more tricky for us; it was difficult to get the balance of the car right due to the tricky conditions with the wind being quite strong. Heading into qualifying, no one knew where we all stood and it was very tight, but this is exciting for the sport. We made some good improvements on the car and also improved performance from FP3 to qualifying and in Q3 we had a little bit more grip. Ultimately, I am pleased with the performance of the car and was happy to be back competing again today. Looking to tomorrow, I have a good feeling and am confident ahead of the race. We know it is about looking after the tyres in the best way possible as anything can happen in the race. We have a good race car and hopefully we can show the same performance as we did today.”

Sergio Perez, 5th, 1:29.537

“My lap wasn’t as clean as it could have been into turn one and that means two or three places when everything is so tight is up there. It was tricky, we were learning throughout qualifying, it was the first time we had run such a light car. We didn’t get the maximum because we lost a set of soft tyres for Q3 on an aborted lap in Q2, that was a negative but a positive is that the car was performing well in qualifying. We have some work to do but what matters is tomorrow, and we are on the right side of the grid so we should be able to have a strong start. A lot of teams saved the hard tyre but we saved those softs and that means we will be on different strategies out there. The target tomorrow will be to make progress and onto the podium, things are really close and it is going to be a nice battle ahead.”

Christian Horner, Team Principal

“It was a great lap from Max, the circuit was getting cooler, so it was getting a little trickier. He didn’t think it was enough to take pole but thankfully it was and he put it together very well. It was very tight behind him, I have been saying the regulations are going to concertina the field and the start of this year is starting to show that, which make things exciting for everyone. It should be an interesting race tomorrow, this grid is so tight, there was only a tenth and a half between third and seventh so I am not concerned about Checo starting from P5. It’s a long lap to race around here and I am confident he will be in a good place to compete for the podium.”

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BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN - MARCH 01: Pole position qualifier Max Verstappen of the Netherlands and Oracle Red Bull Racing celebrates in parc ferme during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Bahrain at Bahrain International Circuit on March 01, 2024 in Bahrain, Bahrain. (Photo by Bryn Lennon - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

Ferrari

Not to be for Ferrari, who at times had both cars in the fight for pole. Leclerc was left frustrated after being sent out on fresh tyres at the end of Q1, only to be called back without completing a lap. That cost him those tyres, meaning he had to run slightly used rubber in Q3 which disrupted his rhythm. His Q2 lap time would have been enough for pole, but he couldn’t nail his final flying run in Q3 when it mattered. As for Sainz, he topped FP3 and looked right in the mix at the start of qualifying but despite carrying two sets of new tyres into Q3, couldn’t steal a place on the front row.

Charles Leclerc, 2nd, 1:29.407

"It was a good qualifying after what has been quite a tricky weekend. We tried a few things in the free practice sessions and I found the sweet spot in qualifying. We went out on a set of used tyres at first in Q3 which compromised our rhythm a bit, before switching to a new set but overall, it feels like we are in a better place than we were at the start of last year. We have to wait and see where we stand in terms of race pace and Red Bull still seem to be a step ahead of the rest of the pack. I'll take any opportunity we have."

Carlos Sainz, 4th, 1:29.507

"It was a super tight session and all in all it hasn’t been a bad first qualifying for the season. In Q3 we were not able to really put everything together, but we are in a decent spot for tomorrow’s race in P4.

"After testing we are confident that we have improved our race pace compared to the beginning of last year, so I’m looking forward to finally going at it tomorrow and finding out where we are on pace. Let’s kick-off the season with a good one!"

Fred Vasseur, Team Principal

"We were P1 in Q1 and Q2 so it would lead you to expect we could do a P1 in Q3, but it did not go that well, as we did not manage to put everything together on the last lap. But generally, our performance was encouraging as we were on the pace through all the sessions. That was only the first step of the weekend, now we will see tomorrow what is the situation over the long runs. As we’ve been saying since the beginning of the weekend, it’s very difficult to read the winter test and we are still completely in the dark about fuel levels.

"From what we have seen so far, it’s possible that this year Red Bull will not have the kind of comfort zone they had last year and maybe more teams could put them under pressure when they have to make decisions relating to strategy or even set-up.

"Looking ahead to the race we will focus first on ourselves: we want to verify if the car is more consistent in terms of tyre degradation, which seems to be the case, and then we will see what we can bring home. The first target is not to leave any points on the table."

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BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN - MARCH 01: Second placed qualifier Charles Leclerc of Monaco and Ferrari looks on in parc ferme during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Bahrain at Bahrain International Circuit on March 01, 2024 in Bahrain, Bahrain. (Photo by Bryn Lennon - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

Mercedes

Hamilton’s form from yesterday seemed to desert him as he struggled in both FP3 and qualifying. His first run in Q1 wasn’t good enough to be safe so he had to use a second set of tyres there and was on the backfoot from that moment onwards. Russell did carry the extra tyres through to Q2 and Q3, and used them to good advantage to grab an impressive third on the grid.

__Lewis Hamilton, 9th, 1:29.710 __

"I struggled throughout Qualifying as we have in the past couple of years.

"The car is feeling really great, but I just went a little bit in a direction to help my race pace. I wasn’t feeling as comfortable with that yesterday so that was the focus. I’ve definitely sacrificed more single-lap performance than I hoped too but I hope that pays off tomorrow.

"It’s a lot of work to do to get past a lot of quick cars that are starting ahead of me, but I’m sure it’ll be fun. George’s position and the pace he showed today really highlights, and is a real testament, to the team.

"It shows just how hard everyone has worked over the winter. It’s amazing for us to have a car that we can fight with. It reignites the fire and the flame within us drivers. For me today, Bono and everyone else did a great job."

George Russell, 3rd, 1:29.485

"Everybody at the factory has done a great job to give Lewis and I a car that we are much happier with. It’s a base that we can build upon. We’ve still got some catching up to do to be at the very front, but starting P3 for tomorrow’s race is a good place to be.

"It’s clear how tight it is between a number of teams, including ourselves, Ferrari, the McLarens, and Aston Martin. It is exciting knowing that if you put the whole lap together and find a tenth or two, that will add up to several positions on the grid.

"Since the test, the whole team has been working incredibly hard to fine-tune the set-up and make improvements.

"We’ve clearly made a big step forward in our single lap pace. Hopefully we haven’t compromised our race pace, but we will see tomorrow. I think we’re likely to be in a close fight for the podium positions behind Verstappen."

Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport

"Yesterday we looked slightly better than today on our single-lap performance. We intentionally tried to set the car up for tomorrow’s race though, so we hope we’re in more of a sweet spot for the Grand Prix tomorrow.

"The set-up changes we made certainly contributed to the drop in our performance today. At the start of Qualifying, we wondered if we had sacrificed too much for tomorrow but in the end, it wasn’t too bad. P3 is a good place to start but we were still three tenths off pole position.

"Behind Verstappen, the gaps are so close with several other teams. Just a couple of tenths makes such a big difference. It’s about the absolute tiny margins and if you find even small gains, then you are right in the game.

"We hope that tomorrow will be a little bit better but we are still learning so much about this car."

Andrew Shovlin, Trackside Engineering Director

"It's been much harder to get the lap-time out of the car today than yesterday. We made some changes overnight to try and improve the long run and that has likely cost us some single lap pace.

"It was very encouraging for the team to see George put it in P3 at the first race though. Lewis didn't have a clean run through the sessions and he'll no doubt be frustrated by that as he'd looked to be very quick yesterday. Nevertheless, we expect him to have strong pace in the race tomorrow and he's no doubt relieved to see that the W15 has way more potential than the two cars that came before it.

"We're looking forward to tomorrow. It's a race where you can overtake, so good race pace is really important. More than anything though, it will be interesting to see how the car performs and where everyone falls out in terms of pace."

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BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN - MARCH 01: Third placed qualifier George Russell of Great Britain and Mercedes reacts in the paddock during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Bahrain at Bahrain International Circuit on March 01, 2024 in Bahrain, Bahrain. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Aston Martin

Alonso looked strong in the final practice session, so it was no surprise to see the veteran make it to Q3 with ease. Stroll couldn’t join him there though, knocked out in the closing stages of Q2. In the top 10 shootout, Alonso only had one set of fresh soft tyres so opted not to run a used set, instead coming out by himself to set his lap time midway through. While he missed out on a fully rubbered in track. The rapidly cooling temperatures didn’t seem to help the rest and so the timing of his run proved quite clever in the end as he secured sixth.

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Fernando Alonso, 6th, 1:29.542

“It was a nice surprise tonight in Qualifying to finish sixth and a very good way to start the new season. We were cautious heading into the session, but we found ourselves competitive and in the end we were only a tenth away from the Ferraris in Q3. The car felt more connected this weekend and our fine tuning was a real positive. I think it will be very close tomorrow in the race and the fine margins between us all means how we manage everything will be key. Let’s see what we can do, but I’m confident heading into the race.”

__Lance Stroll, 12th, 1:30.200 __

“The AMR24 felt good in Qualifying - a reflection of the work we put in over testing to configure the set up. I had a strong flying lap in Q1 and was happy with my pace, but then got caught in some traffic at Turn 13 in my final Q2 run. That can be the difference between progressing [into Q3] or not when it’s such a tight field and every tenth matters. Such a close pack should make for an interesting race tomorrow; I’ll do my best to get a good start and we’ll go from there.”

Mike Krack, Team Principal

“A well-executed Qualifying session sets us up nicely for a strong race where we can compete for strong points. Our Qualifying laps were clean and tidy, and we saw just how close all the teams are this year in terms of single-lap performance. You have to really get everything right in these circumstances because every tenth of a second matters. Our focus over the winter has been to close the gap to the front and the early indications are encouraging, but it’s only the first Qualifying session of the year and we need to see how things unfold in the race. We will finally get the answers tomorrow on race performance: we’ve done our homework and have prepared well over the last couple of weeks, so let’s see what we can do.”

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BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN - MARCH 01: Fernando Alonso of Spain driving the (14) Aston Martin AMR24 Mercedes on track during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Bahrain at Bahrain International Circuit on March 01, 2024 in Bahrain, Bahrain. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

McLaren

Norris made another mistake on his flying lap in FP3, and thus went into qualifying without a fully representative time. But he looked right on it in Q1 and Q2, almost matching Verstappen despite being on used tyres to the Dutchman’s fresh. Roll on Q3 and he just couldn’t extract the pace when it mattered and nor could Piastri, the duo winding up in the lower reaches of the top 10.

Lando Norris, 7th, 1:29.614

“The car felt great all through qualifying and there’s a lot of potential. I didn’t get the best lap in at the end, but it’s a long race and there are plenty of overtaking opportunities. We’ll see what we can do to go forwards.”

Oscar Piastri, 8th, 1:29.683

“P8. A significant improvement on last year. I did struggle with the balance all session and felt a fair way off compared to yesterday. It came together a bit more on the last lap in Q3, but it was a bit tricky. However, going into tomorrow, I think we can be in the mix. The grid is quite tight and there isn’t much in it, so it won’t be easy, but we’ll see what we can do.”

Andrea Stella, Team Principal

“Overall, we can be quite pleased with the performance of the car. We are the most improved team on the grid compared to this time last year and we were in the mix in qualifying for the top positions on the grid. At the same time, there’s a little bit of a bitter taste that we didn’t fully capitalise on the pace in the car. Lando, in Q3, had issues in Turn One on both attempts, and felt he could be starting higher, but he looked very strong in Sectors Two and Three, which is encouraging for the race. Oscar did a very good job of steadily finding pace through the sessions. After Q1, he felt the car was a little unpredictable, but he and his engineers did well to stay calm, make the right adjustments and, ultimately, deliver a strong result. We have a solid base from which to score good points, and we’re looking forward to tomorrow’s race.”

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BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN - MARCH 01: Lando Norris of Great Britain driving the (4) McLaren MCL38 Mercedes on track during final practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Bahrain at Bahrain International Circuit on March 01, 2024 in Bahrain, Bahrain. (Photo by Bryn Lennon - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

Haas

Hulkenberg was flirting with the top 10 in practice, but as others turned their engines up, still the Haas driver would not go away. He wound up in Q3 for the second straight year here, but with only used tyres to run had to settle for a still encouraging P10. Magnussen at least made it to Q2 in a very encouraging showing for the team – especially considering they said they expected to be last when asked pre-season.

Nico Hulkenberg, 10th, 1:30.502

“At the end of last year, I still managed to put it into Q3 a few times and we knew from last season qualifying was our strength. It looks like we’ve not lost it, but we need to fix the race day issue from before. Obviously, that’s the most crucial point for us this season, and we pretty much only focused on that in testing, and also in the winter to dial-out that characteristic that we had last year. It feels better but tomorrow is the real test to see if it actually is better, so exciting times ahead.”

Kevin Magnussen, 15th, 1:30.529

“For me, I can’t be happy with that, I didn’t do a good lap in qualifying. The positive thing is we feel we’ve made some progress with the car, so I’m looking forward to tomorrow in the race. I know our race pace is decent so we can be more competitive, which hopefully is the case, and if it is then it will be a very different situation to last year where we were only falling back. I’m gutted with today honestly but looking forward to Saturday.”

Ayao Komatsu, Team Principal

“From FP3, we focused on our low-fuel performance and after the sessions we thought if we could do a good job, we can get into Q2 – we achieved that so I’m very happy. What a lap from Nico in Q2 to get into Q3, so again I’m really happy with that also. In Q3 we had, let’s say, a calm state of mind to know that we’re not racing Mercedes or McLaren tomorrow, so we kept one new set of tyres for Nico for Saturday, and we’ve given ourselves the best chance. I’d like to think that all the things we’ve been learning from pre-season testing and from yesterday’s high-fuel runs, we can put it into practice tomorrow and try and score some points.”

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BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN - MARCH 01: Nico Hulkenberg of Germany and Haas F1 looks on in the garage during final practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Bahrain at Bahrain International Circuit on March 01, 2024 in Bahrain, Bahrain. (Photo by Peter Fox - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

RB

Ricciardo looked to have the beating of his team mate in practice but, when the pressure was on, Tsunoda delivered the goods to grab 11th on the grid. He narrowly missed out on a spot in the top 10 at a track he does tend to do well at. As for Ricciardo, P14 on the grid could well turn into points tomorrow if he can nail his strategy.

Daniel Ricciardo, 14th, 1:30.278

“I’m not too happy with my performance tonight and a bit disappointed, to be honest. I think the weekend was going steadily and we were feeling fairly confident coming into qualifying. In the end, I never felt completely comfortable and felt like there was something I was struggling with during the lap, and therefore, didn’t cross the line feeling like I’d done a good job. As for our car and pace, as you see where Yuki is, that’s where we expected to be. Tonight was the least comfortable I felt so far this weekend, but going into the race, the approach to the track and car is different, and I’ve got more confidence going into tomorrow. I think there’s still a chance for points.”

Yuki Tsunoda, 11th, 1:30.129

“It’s a shame we missed out on Q3 by that little, but I’m happy with my performance. We struggled a lot yesterday, especially in FP2, but the team did a fantastic job of turning things around overnight, and the car felt good today. We’re still in the process of understanding our car properly, but we’re improving in each session, so we’re happy with the progress. I think we maximised our package today, but the race is where points are scored, so we’ll focus on tomorrow and do it again. The car is in a good place in the long run, so I’m feeling confident and excited to race again!”

Alan Permane, Racing Director

"It’s been a solid first qualifying session of the season for us. We were aiming for the top of the midfield and that’s exactly what we achieved with Yuki in P11, and Daniel extremely close to him. Today has been the result of a good reaction from the whole team after the tough FP2 session yesterday. We expect tomorrow to bring a very close race which is always tricky with high tyre degradation. We are looking forward to seeing where we stand on both our race pace and tyre management and will be pushing to move both cars forward."

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BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN - MARCH 01: 13th placed qualifier Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and Visa Cash App RB walks in the Pitlane during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Bahrain at Bahrain International Circuit on March 01, 2024 in Bahrain, Bahrain. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Williams

Sargeant matched Albon’s pace in practice, but he couldn’t do so when qualifying came around, instead exiting at the first time of asking. Albon did make Q2 but could go no further on a day when the fight to make the top 10 was incredibly tight. But considering they completely changed their car concept and also struggled with reliability last week, P13 on the grid is a decent start to the season for the Thai driver.

Alex Albon, 13th, 1:30.221

"P15 was where we predicted we’d be today so it’s a slight reward qualifying P13. On paper, it’s mixed feelings because I feel like we did a good job and got the most out of the car but we’ve definitely got more performance in it, which isn’t a bad thing.

"I was excited to go out today on low fuel and feel the car light but I think tomorrow will be very close. We’ve made big improvements, but everyone has so it’s all relative. This circuit is always very close so let’s see how we go tomorrow."

Logan Sargeant, 18th, 1:30.770

"The first run was great but the second run wasn’t so good. I’m a little bit confused about the difference in tyre performance across the two runs; it didn’t feel like I had the tyre in the right window on the second set and I lost a significant amount of rear grip.

"It’s a little bit disappointing but at least the performance was there in the car. Nonetheless, we knew it would be very tight and that it is. It’s hard to say exactly where we are on race pace but I feel quite comfortable within myself on race pace, so hopefully we can use that to our advantage tomorrow."

Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance

"The midfield is incredibly tight and today we were just on the wrong side of it. Nonetheless, the FW46 is in that competitive midfield mix and able to compete. Conditions were very cool this evening and we needed to adapt our approach as qualifying progressed. We weren’t perfect but, generally, the balance and tyres were reasonable and both drivers were able to fight.

"Unfortunately, Logan suffered from a brake balance issue on his final timed lap, which cost him some time. We will address this overnight and don’t expect any repeat behaviour tomorrow. Although we have had the first good look at relative pace today, and consequently the competitive picture is beginning to emerge, there is still plenty of uncertainty over how the race paces will unfold tomorrow.

"We certainly go into the race confident that both drivers can compete with the cars around them and make good progress."

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BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN - MARCH 01: Sparks fly behind the car of Alexander Albon of Thailand driving the (23) Williams FW46 Mercedes during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Bahrain at Bahrain International Circuit on March 01, 2024 in Bahrain, Bahrain. (Photo by Peter Fox - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

Kick Sauber

Their form was a mystery going into qualifying, and in the end it looks like Kick Sauber have fallen behind RB in the pecking order. Both drivers exited at the first time of asking, with Bottas beating his team mate by the incredibly narrow margin of 0.001s. Can they do much tomorrow? The early noises are that their race pace is stronger than their qualifying form, so they could well move forward in the Grand Prix.

Valtteri Bottas, 16th, 1:30.756

“It’s no secret that we are not where we expected to be today. As a positive, everything worked okay on our car – unfortunately, what we were lacking is a bit of single-lap performance. We already saw from the final practice session, earlier today, that getting past the Q2 threshold was going to be a tough job, as it is really close out there in the field. In terms of setup, we opted to prioritise the race more than qualifying, and hopefully tomorrow we’ll get to take advantage of that. We’ll be working on finetuning our package overnight, to try and extract something more ahead of the race.”

Zhou Guanyu, 17th, 1:30.757

"Unfortunately, we did not achieve the result we were hoping for today. It has been a tricky and inconsistent weekend for us so far, and we didn’t manage to find the optimal setup over the last two days. We knew that we might struggle with our one-lap pace and that making it all the way to Q3 could be difficult, but we expected to be more competitive. While my lap wasn’t perfect, extracting another tenth from it would have been challenging. And although this isn’t the best start to the season, we need to focus on ourselves and find ways to extract more performance. Now, it’s about analysing the data, gaining a better understanding of our package, and taking a step forward in the race and for the upcoming weekends. Tomorrow is a new day, and we’ll give it our all to make up for the lost position today.”

Alessandro Alunni Bravi, Team Representative

“The first qualifying session of the year is always a moment that gives some reference to the actual performance of the different teams: what we saw tonight is that, once again, the competition around us will be extremely tight, and one tenth can be the difference between making it to Q2 or going out in the first segment. It was disappointing not to have any car progressing: we know we have work to improve our single-lap performance, but we also know that a small gain can put us fighting for much higher positions – two tenths get you close to the top ten. We need to be focused on the work ahead of us, starting from tomorrow, when we need to make the most of our race pace: it’s a long season and we will have opportunities to improve the car and make another step towards reaching our targets for this year, all together.”

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BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN - MARCH 01: 16th placed qualifier Valtteri Bottas of Finland and Stake F1 Team Kick Sauber walks in the Pitlane during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Bahrain at Bahrain International Circuit on March 01, 2024 in Bahrain, Bahrain. (Photo by Bryn Lennon - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

Alpine

They were predicted to struggle and so it proved, with both Alpine drivers exiting at the first time of asking. Not only that but they share the back row of the grid in what is looking like a very long race day for the team. That being said, Gasly started last here in 2023 and finishing in the top 10, so all might not be lost for the French outfit.

READ MORE: ‘We have a lot of work ahead of us’ – Alpine drivers say double-Q1 exit ‘not a surprise’ in Bahrain

Esteban Ocon, 19th, 1:30.793

“We expected it was going to be difficult coming into Qualifying and that proved to be the case. It’s important that we realise where we need to improve, which is something we identified very early on with this car. As I said on the radio, I’ve got faith and confidence in the team to keep progressing. We improved the car all the way through testing and all the way through the Practice sessions so far this weekend, though, it was not quite enough to progress into the second part of Qualifying. Tomorrow will be a long race and I think we’ll be closer to the others than on short runs. We’ll look to execute a clean race, try to progress up the field and see where we end up.”

Pierre Gasly, 20th, 1:30.948

“We knew it would not be an easy start to the season and, of course, it’s always a tough one to take when you exit in Q1. From my side, we probably did not maximise everything today in the session. It was a very messy out lap with traffic and the tyres were not in a good window for an optimal lap time. That said, it would have been tough to advance much further. We know where we are and the team is pushing flat out and working exceptionally hard to keep bringing improvements to the car. Most importantly, we’re sticking together as a team. For tomorrow, a lot can always happen on race day. We will try and maximise everything we have in our hands and get the best from it. We’ll keep pushing all the way.”

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BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN - MARCH 01: 20th placed qualifier Pierre Gasly of France and Alpine F1 walks in the Pitlane during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Bahrain at Bahrain International Circuit on March 01, 2024 in Bahrain, Bahrain. (Photo by Bryn Lennon - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

Pirelli

Mario Isola, Motorsport Director

“A very interesting qualifying, in which the difference was in the detail. In Q1 we had 19 drivers all within the same second and in Q3 between the top nine the gap was just five tenths. In tenth place, Hulkenberg was the only driver not using new Softs because he had none left. The fact that Leclerc set the fastest time of the day, but is not on pole, is a further sign of just how close it was.

“Therefore, tomorrow’s race looks like it’s going to be even more interesting. In terms of strategy, the two-stop is quickest on paper, with Hard and Soft the main protagonists. Of course, everyone will start on the Soft, but those like Red Bull, who only have one set of C1 will have to make their first pit stop between laps 13 and 18 to switch to this compound, before making a second stop between laps 37 and 43 to finish on another set of Soft tyres. Those making use of two sets of Hard would have to stop between laps 11 and 16 and then for a second time between laps 32 and 38.

“A two-stop using all three available compounds is slower, but could be worth considering only if the track conditions evolve quicker than expected, as happened for example on the final day of last week’s test. More plausible however is a three stop strategy to make the most of the Soft’s potential, for example if the race was neutralised in its final stages.”

HIGHLIGHTS: Relive the action from qualifying in Bahrain as Verstappen clinches pole

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