After dominating all three practice sessions so far this weekend in Bahrain, Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes are the firm favorites to score a third straight pole position in 2014 under the lights on Saturday evening.
You can watch qualifying on CNBC and Live Extra from 11am ET. CLICK HERE for live stream.
Hamilton is looking to go back-to-back this weekend after winning the Malaysian Grand Prix last time out, but he will have to fend off teammate Nico Rosberg who is the current world championship leader.
Even if the battle for pole is an inter-team affair, there is an interesting battle developing further back. Ferrari appears to be in better shape this weekend, whilst Red Bull’s upturn in fortunes could put the defending champions in a position to vie for a podium. In the dry, the other Mercedes-powered teams of McLaren, Williams and Force India could also show their true colors.
This year’s Bahrain Grand Prix is particularly special as it is a night race for the first time, and this has certainly given the event some added character and atmosphere. The Bahrain International Circuit looks spectacular under the lights, and the racing should be equally as enthralling this weekend.
Remember, you can watch qualifying on CNBC and Live Extra from 11am ET.
CLICK HERE for live stream.
Max Verstappen has picked his illegal pass on Kimi Raikkonen on the final lap of the United States Grand Prix as his favorite overtake of the Formula 1 season.
Verstappen was one of F1’s most prolific passers through 2017, making 22 overtaking moves as per Pirelli’s end of year data.
When asked to pick out his favorite in a post-season interview on his official website, Verstappen picked his bold move on Raikkonen at the Circuit of The Americas that sparked controversy when he was penalized for completing the overtake off-track.
The Red Bull driver had charged from 16th on the grid to cross the line third, only for a five-second time penalty to deny him a podium and drop him to fourth in a snap call made before the post-race ceremony.
“Of course, at first your initial reaction is something like: ‘Why? It was a great move.’ But when you look at the rules, it was not correct,” Verstappen said.
“Nothing was by the book that whole weekend. Drivers were getting off track without being penalized for it. But you always need to focus on the positives: it was still a nice race and everyone enjoyed the excitement all the way down to the final lap.
“It’s always nice to be on the podium, but to finish fourth after having started sixteenth, is still a great result.
“It wasn’t as painful as most people thought it was. In the end I made my peace with it.”
Asked if it was his best move of the year, Verstappen said: “Yes, because this year I actually didn’t have that many overtakes.
“With this car you are actually only able to overtake on the straights, which is really not that satisfying compared to last year.”