until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Formula 1

Bottas fends off Russell and Verstappen for Sakhir GP pole

by Matt Beer
3 min read

Valtteri Bottas defeated new team-mate George Russell to claim pole position for Formula 1’s Sakhir Grand Prix, where just 0.056 seconds covered the top three cars.

Bottas was 0.142s faster than Russell and 0.214s clear of Max Verstappen heading into the final runs of Q3, and was the first of that trio on the road for the last attempts.

But he was unable to improve at the end, while his two challengers did. Russell missed out on a maiden F1 pole position by 0.026s, with Verstappen also right in the mix around the 53-second lap.

Charles Leclerc Ferrari Sakhir Grand Prix 2020

Charles Leclerc put in one of the surprise laps of the session to claim fourth in his Ferrari, only running once in Q3 while the Mercedes drivers did three runs.

Sergio Perez took fifth for Racing Point, while Daniil Kvyat’s only lap of the Q3 as the chequered flag came out was good enough to put him sixth on the grid.

Daniel Ricciardo and Carlos Sainz Jr filled row four of the grid, ahead of Pierre Gasly and Lance Stroll, who picked up damage that cost his Racing Point aero performance.

Esteban Ocon failed to make it two Renaults in Q3, narrowly missing out in 11th. He’ll share the sixth row of the grid with Alex Albon, who suffered another painful Saturday afternoon in the second Red Bull, having complained after his first run of Q2 that he didn’t feel he could go any faster.

Sebastian Vettel, whose car was running with the engine he used in Friday practice after Ferrari decided to change it at the end of FP3, claimed 13th.

Antonio Giovinazzi was 14th, having won the battle of the ‘Class C’ cars in Q1 in the absence of the Russell/Williams combination that has so often left the other five drivers in the slowest three teams eliminated at the first stage of qualifying.

He wasn’t slowest in Q2 though, as Lando Norris was 15th. The McLaren driver aborted the first lap of his final run, then pitted at the end of his second attempt despite having set personal best times through the first two sectors.

F1’s two debutants, Jack Aitken at Williams and Pietro Fittipaldi at Haas, were both out in Q1.

Aitken appeared to have a shot at outqualifying team-mate Nicholas Latifi, but he had to settle for 18th – under a tenth behind the Canadian after running wide at the final corner on his final lap.

Fittipaldi was slowest, but he was always destined to start the race from the back of the grid due to penalties for taking new engine components.

Qualifying Results

Pos Name Car Q1 Q2 Q3
1 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 53.904s 53.803s 53.377s
2 George Russell Mercedes 54.16s 53.819s 53.403s
3 Max Verstappen Red Bull-Honda 54.037s 53.647s 53.433s
4 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 54.249s 53.825s 53.613s
5 Sergio Pérez Racing Point-Mercedes 54.236s 53.787s 53.79s
6 Daniil Kvyat AlphaTauri-Honda 54.346s 53.856s 53.906s
7 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 54.388s 53.871s 53.957s
8 Carlos Sainz McLaren-Renault 54.45s 53.818s 54.01s
9 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri-Honda 54.207s 53.941s 54.154s
10 Lance Stroll Racing Point-Mercedes 54.595s 53.84s 54.2s
11 Esteban Ocon Renault 54.309s 53.995s
12 Alex Albon Red Bull-Honda 54.62s 54.026s
13 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 54.301s 54.175s
14 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 54.523s 54.377s
15 Lando Norris McLaren-Renault 54.194s 54.693s
16 Kevin Magnussen Haas-Ferrari 54.705s
17 Nicholas Latifi Williams-Mercedes 54.796s
18 Jack Aitken Williams-Mercedes 54.892s
19 Kimi Räikkönen Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 54.963s
20 Pietro Fittipaldi Haas-Ferrari 55.426s
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