Sebastian Vettel rides his Ferrari into pole position in Bahrain
By: S. Harding, Xiro Xone News April 7, 2018 Updated: 4:39 PM PT
SAKHIR, Bahrain -- Ferrari drivers Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen rode their prancing horses across the line to score a front row lockout ahead of tomorrow’s Bahrain Grand Prix.
Ferrari walked into the weekend as the favorite given the strong showing in Melbourne two weeks ago with Sebastian Vettel grabbing the first win of the season.
Feeling good about his chances Vettel said, “It’s been a great result that the whole team deserves. However, the ‘big day’ is tomorrow.”
Vettel continued his form taking his 51st career pole position ahead of his teammate Kimi Raikkonen in second. Raikkonen finished 0.023s ahead of Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas in third.
Lewis Hamilton finished fourth but will face a five place grid penalty ahead of tomorrow's race. Hamilton’s grid drop will reshuffle giving the next five places a bump in position. Daniel Ricciardo, who finished fifth, will now be moved to fourth as the honey badger will try to take advantage of the bump up the grid.
After a disappointing qualifying result in Melbourne, Pierre Gasly bounced back with an impressive result in his Toro Rosso to finish sixth, the highest starting position of his career. However, it gets better for Gasly as he will start fifth in tomorrow’s race after Hamilton’s penalty is applied.
Happy with his result the young Frenchmen is looking forward to bringing home some points in what could be a tight midfield battle.
“It’s pretty mega! Hopefully I can get the best start possible tomorrow - we saw in FP2 that our long run pace was good so let’s see! Of course, we expect the front runners like Hamilton and Verstappen to come back quickly, but I think we will be in the fight with Renault and Haas hopefully, so we need to work really hard tonight and make sure we have a car as fast as today and aim to score good points in the race,” said Gasly.
Haas’ Kevin Magnussen will start sixth after qualifying seventh and was 0.212s ahead of Renault ’s Nico Hulkenberg who will move up to seventh from eighth.
Force India’s Esteban Ocon found his way into the top ten finishing ninth but will start from eighth. Reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton starting tomorrow's race form ninth after receiving a five-spot grid penalty for a gearbox change when a leak was discovered after the Australian Grand Prix.
Carlos Sainz took the tenth and final points paying position with Brendon Hartley just missing the top ten by 0.090s in 11th after a stray bird was collected by his car damaging his front wing. A not too unusual thing to happen when driving at high speeds. However, the New Zealander is disappointed about the unfortunate mishap.
“I don’t know how the bird is, but my front wing was destroyed! It was really close today…it’s a shame I made a small mistake on the last corner!” Hartley said.
McLaren drivers Fernando Alonso and teammate Stoffel Vandoorne finished 13th and 14th respectively as they where out qualified by Toro Rosso who chose to run Honda power this year after McLaren parted way with the Japanese engine manufacturer.
Max Verstappen will start tomorrow’s race from 15th after he lost the rear of his car exiting Turn 2 and was sent spinning into the gravel and hitting the wall.
Romain Grosjean lost out to Fernando Alonso after both drivers set the same lap during Q1, but because Alonso set the time first Grosjean will have to start from 16th. Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson will begin tomorrow in 17th.
Ericsson’s teammate Charles Leclerc finished 19th after having a small spin during Q1. But, he managed to split the Williams of Sergey Sirotkin and Lance Stroll in 18th and 20th.