2017 F1 Bahrain Grand Prix: Bottas takes his first career pole!

Bottas takes his pole the 2017 F1 Bahrain Grand Prix ahead of teammate Hamilton. Vettel will start on the second row beside teammate Raikkonen.

Valterri Bottas finally gets his first career pole setting a time that is 0.023 seconds faster than Hamilton’s best effort breaking the Brit’s streak of consecutive poles. Starting first on the grid, Bottas now has a good chance to take his first career win tomorrow at the 2017 F1 Bahrain Grand Prix!

Q1

Ferrari and Mercedes went out on softs whereas the rest of field did Q1 on super softs. Max Verstappen looks to be the faster Red Bull this weekend and even set the fastest time of the session before normal proceedings resumed as Hamilton set the fastest time. Raikkonen set the third fastest time after he came out again on super softs but was caught up in traffic.

Grosjean put his practice woes aside and set a competitive time. Wehrlein also had an impressive run on his first race of the season consistently improving on his times to comfortably get into Q2. Those who got eliminated in Q1 were Sainz, Perez, Vandoorne, Magnussen and Ericcsson. Sainz lost power on his car which stranded him on his fast lap at the end of the session, resulting in yellow flags and spoiling Perez’s run as well.

Q2

All racers went out on super softs to set the fastest time possible and Hamilton sets the fastest time with Bottas and Vettel close behind, leaving nothing between the top 3. Raikkonen was again fourth fastest and still a bit away from the main action happening at front. Towards the end of the session, Hulkenberg set one of the best laps of his weekend to set the fifth fastest time ahead of the Red Bulls. His teammate Palmer also made it to Q3 making it a good qualifying outing for Renault with both cars starting in top ten. Massa and Grosjean also made it to Q3 in 8th and 9th. Kvyat, Stroll, Wehrlein, Ocon and Alonso were the ones eliminated after Q2. Wehrlein will have a moral victory qualifying ahead of career rival Ocon.

Q3

The number 77 Finn finally trumps the number 44 Brit and takes pole for tomorrow’s race. On his final run Bottas improved to set the fastest lap and things didn’t go smoothly for Hamilton as he set a slower time to start second on the grid on the dirty side of the track. Vettel will start third on the grid with a bit of gap to the Mercs. Ricciardo is sandwiched between the two Ferraris ahead of Raikkonen. Verstappen will start sixth and only a tiny bit ahead of the Renault of Hulkenberg in 7th. Massa, Grosjean and Palmer finish the top ten with Palmer finally putting his qualifying issues at rest.

Sunday Race Day will be an interesting race to watch out as even if the Mercs show out right pace, the Ferraris and Red Bulls are kinder on the tyres, so it might be a six way fight for the podium positions. Hulkenberg who isn’t a man to walk away from a fight might also have an outside chance at a podium finish. Racing action starts at 8pm IST.

2017 F1 Bahrain Grand Prix Qualifying

1 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1m28.769s –
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m28.792s 0.023s
3 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m29.247s 0.478s
4 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1m29.545s 0.776s
5 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m29.567s 0.798s
6 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault 1m29.687s 0.918s
7 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1m29.842s 1.073s
8 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1m30.074s 1.305s
9 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1m30.763s 1.994s
10 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1m31.074s 2.305s
11 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso/Renault 1m30.923s –
12 Lance Stroll Williams/Mercedes 1m31.168s –
13 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber/Ferrari 1m31.414s –
14 Esteban Ocon Force India/Mercedes 1m31.684s –
15 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda – –
16 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso/Renault 1m32.118s –
17 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren/Honda 1m32.313s –
18 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1m32.318s –
19 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1m32.543s –
20 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 1m32.900s –

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