Scuderia Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel scored the pole for Sunday’s Bahrain Grand Prix in a front row lockout for Ferrari, as teammate Kimi Raikkonen qualified second and will flank Vettel at the head of the grid.
Vettel’s time of 1:27.958 was the only lap in the 1:27 bracket in Q3, bettering Raikkonen’s time by .143 seconds, and was the fastest lap ever turned around the Bahrain International Circuit.
The Mercedes AMG Petronas duo of Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton were third and fourth, though Hamilton will get a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change.
Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo was fifth, while Scuderia Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly scored an impressive sixth, and Hamilton’s penalty means that Gasly will start fifth come Sunday’s race, an outstanding result for both Gasly and Toro Rosso.
The rest of the Top 10 from Q3 were Haas F1 Team’s Kevin Magnussen in seventh, Renault Sport F1 Team’s Nico Hulkenberg in eighth, Sahara Force India’s Esteban Ocon in ninth, and Renault’s Carlos Sainz Jr. in tenth.
Of note: the lone incident of qualifying came during Q1, when Red Bull driver Max Verstappen crashed exiting Turn 2. Verstappen’s car broke loose, sending him spinning across the track and into the barriers, damaging the front wing and left-front suspension.
Though his Q1 time was good enough to advance him into Q2 – Verstappen was fourth at the time – his car was too damaged to continue, and he will start 15th.
Results are below. The Bahrain Grand Prix begins Sunday at 11:00 a.m. ET.