F1 2023: Verstappen secures pole position in Bahrain GP Qualifying as Red Bull lock-out front row

The 2023 Formula One season finally kicked off this weekend in Bahrain, with the first qualifying session of the new season finally concluding with 2x World Champion Max Verstappen taking the pole position for the season opening race tomorrow at the 5.412 km long Bahrain International Circuit.
Red Bull managed to lock-out the front row at the start of the first race of the season, with Checo Perez just +0.138s slower than Verstappen (1:29.708). Meanwhile Ferrari drivers occupy the second row tomorrow, with Charles Leclerc in P3 and Carlos Sainz starting from fourth. Fernando Alonso, the most experienced racer on the grid, was the fifth fastest in the final Qualifying. This is the Spaniard’s first season with his new team Aston Martin.
Take a look at how the 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix Qualifying went down and how the drivers line-up for tomorrow’s main race –

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2023 Bahrain Grand Prix Qualifying 1
Qualifying 1 was halted mid-way by Race Control after debris was spotted on the track, resulting in red flags being waved. The debris was actually bodywork from Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari, which was later seen in the pits being mended before Q1 resumed. Carlos Sainz took the fastest lap, posting a time of 1:30.993, followed by George Russell and Charles Leclerc respectively. Aston Martin drivers Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll took 4th and 5th in Q1 respectively.
Logan Sargeant (Williams), Kevin Magnussen (Haas), Oscar Piastri (McLaren), Nyck de Vries (AlphaTauri) and Pierre Gasly (Alpine) were eliminated in the first qualifying, and will be taking 16th to 20th positions on the grid respectively. Tough luck for the three rookies.

2023 Bahrain Grand Prix Qualifying 2
Charles Leclerc managed to take P1 in second qualifying with a flying lap time of 1:30.282, ahead of Max Verstappen in P2 who was +0.221s slower. Mercedes duo George Russell and Lewis Hamilton took third and fourth in Q2, while Carlos Sainz took the fifth position. Fernando Alonso, Sergio Perez, Nico Hulkenberg, Esteban Ocon and Lance Stroll finished from 6th to 10th respectively. Meanwhile Lando Norris, Valterri Bottas, Zhou Guanyu, Yuki Tsunoda and Alex Albon did not make it to Q3.
2023 Bahrain Grand Prix Qualifying 3
It was two-time reigning World Champion Max Verstappen who managed to secure the pole position, his 21st ever. Red Bull Racing locked out the front row, with Sergio Perez starting tomorrow’s race from P2. The Red Bull drivers were followed by Ferrari teammates Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz in third and fourth respectively. Fernando Alonso, who has looked pretty strong all weekend, had to settle for P5. George Russell starts from P6 ahead of his partner Hamilton in 7th. Lance Stroll, Esteban Ocon and Nico Hulkenberg will take P8, P9 and P10 respectively at the 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix.
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