BREAKING: Bottas takes stunning pole in Sakhir!

05-12-2020 17:54
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BREAKING: Bottas takes stunning pole in Sakhir!

Valtteri Bottas took pole position at the Sakhir Grand Prix in a stunning session under the lights. With Lewis Hamilton absent due to his positive COVID-19 test, this session was one fo the most anticipated of the season and it didn't disappoint, with several teams showing excellent pace.

Bottas will be joined on the front row by George Russell, who showed he is the real deal on his first appearance for Mercedes, with Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc on row two.

Q1

Ferrari were relieved to have Sebastian Vettel’s car ready for the first part of qualifying after a last minute engine change, while Haas debutant Pietro Fittipaldi was destined to start last thanks to several engine penalties.

Lando Norris had difficulties in the early stages of Q1, having a time deleted, but rescued it in the final minutes to make it through.

Alex Albon just escaped, finishing in the pits down in P15, just ahead of Haas’ Kevin Magnussen. Nicholas Latifi outqualified a teammate for the first time in F1 ahead of the impressive Jack Aitken on debut.

Kimi Raikkonen will start on the final row of the grid ahead of Fittipaldi, who qualified last anyway.

Q2

The second session of qualifying was very close between several drivers, with just a tenth separating second placed Sergio Perez and ninth placed Daniel Ricciardo.

Verstappen topped the session, but it wasn’t good news for his teammate Alex Albon, who could only manage P12. Esteban Ocon was unlucky to miss out in 11th, with Vettel P13.

Antonio Giovinazzi did a solid job in the Alfa Romeo to qualify 14th, ahead of Norris.

Q3

On the first run of Q3 Verstappen set the pace, but the most impressive lap was from Charles Leclerc, who moved onto the front row with a stunning lap in his Ferrari.

Bottas held third but Perez was faster than Russell, who was taking part in Q3 for the first time. However, Mercedes put themselves back where they belong with five minutes left in the session, with Bottas ahead of Russell.

And that's how it stayed, Russell missing out on what woud have been a stunning pole by just 0.026 of a second as the drivers struggled to find big improvements on their final runs.

Verstappen will line up third alongside the excellent Leclerc, with Perez fifth ahead of Daniil Kvyat, Daniel Ricciardo, Carlos Sainz, Pierre Gasly and Lance Stroll.

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