Bahrain GP: Leclerc Claims Pole for Ferrari in 2022 Season Opener

Bahrain GP: Leclerc Claims Pole for Ferrari in 2022 Season Opener By Abdul Waleed - March 20, 2022


Charles Leclerc will start on pole ahead of Max Verstappen in Sunday's season-opening Bahrain, at the front of a grid containing several surprises.

As pre-season form had suggested, Ferrari and Red Bull were comfortably clear of Mercedes in qualifying on Saturday, with world champion Verstappen's best efforts only enough to sit between Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, with Sergio Perez fourth.

Having sealed fifth, Lewis Hamilton has a familiar face alongside him on the third row of the grid in his former team-mate Valtteri Bottas, whose Alfa Romeo team have severely exceeded expectations with that effort.

Behind Bottas is another car that was expected to be nearer the back of the grid, the Haas of Kevin Magnussen, who lines up alongside Fernando Alonso's Alpine, with the other Mercedes of George Russell and Pierre Gasly's AlphaTauri completing the top 10.

Perhaps the biggest surprise at the back of the grid is the presence of both McLarens, with Lando Norris 13th and Daniel Ricciardo 18th, with a series of technical issues during testing appearing to have derailed their early-season hopes.

Similarly disappointing was the performance of Aston Martin, with Sebastian Vettel's stand-in Nico Hulkenberg coming 17th, two places ahead of Lance Stroll.

Bahrain Grand Prix grid

1) Charles Leclerc, Ferrari
2) Max Verstappen, Red Bull
3) Carlos Sainz, Ferrari
4) Sergio Perez, Red Bull
5) Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes
6) Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo
7) Kevin Magnussen, Haas
8) Fernando Alonso, Alpine
9) George Russell, Mercedes
10) Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri
11) Esteban Ocon, Alpine
12) Mick Schumacher, Haas
13) Lando Norris, McLaren
14) Alex Albon, Williams
15) Zhou Guanyu, Alfa Romeo
16) Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri
17) Nico Hulkenberg, Aston Martin
18) Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren
19) Lance Stroll, Aston Martin
20) Nicholas Latifi, Williams

By Abdul Waleed - March 20, 2022
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