2021 F1 Bahrain Grand Prix Starting Grid: Can Verstappen End Mercedes’ Streak?

Published 03/28/2021, 4:57 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Red Bull’s Max Verstappen celebrates after qualifying in pole position Pool via REUTERS/Lars Baron


The first race of the F1 2021 season is here, there are some old faces as well as some new drivers on the grid. The qualifying session on Saturday decided what starting the grid for Sunday’s race will look like.

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Saturday’s session saw all the teams push the car around the circuit in Bahrain. Some failed to set the best lap time while others got into Q3 trying to get their car in the best position for the first race of the season.

The starting grid for the first F1 race of the season

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Red Bull’s Max Verstappen set the fastest lap at 1.28.997, followed by Mercedes’s Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas. Charles Leclerc put Ferrari at P4 and Pierre Gasly of Alpha Tauri starts P5. Ricciardo starts his Mclaren chapter at P6, and his teammate Norris at P7.

The Spanish drivers on the grid, Carlos Sainz and Fernando Alonso, start P8 & P9, respectively, and Lance Stroll makes the top ten of the grid.

Mexico’s Sergio Perez starts at 11th, Antonio Giovinazzi starts at 12th. Yuki Tsunoda of Japan starts 13th in his debut season, while veteran driver Kimi Raikkonen takes 14th place on the grid. George Russell pushed the Williams car into Q2 which earned him 15th on the grid, Alpine’s Ocon qualified 16th. Canada’s Latifi only managed to get 17th on the grid.

Sebastian Vettel’s Aston Martin could only manage to get 18th on the grid, while Haas’s rookie driver Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin took 19tth and 20th on the grid, respectively.

Max Verstappen had his eyes set on pole for the first race

After the qualifying session, Max Verstappen said, “You always aim for this.“In the last few years it hasn’t materialised, we knew what our weaknesses were last year and we addressed them.”

The Red Bull prodigy knows he will have to make no mistakes in the first race in Bahrain, as he knows the Mercedes team will attack the minute he does something wrong.

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Formula One F1 – Pre-Season Testing – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in action during testing REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

While Hamilton would like to have started from P1, he knows it will be difficult to take over Verstappen and fend off his position against his Finnish teammate, Valterri Bottas.

The opening race of the season is just hours away, the drivers will push the limits around the track and hope to win or score some points for the championship.

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Arpit Gomes

653 articles

Arpit Gomes is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Currently pursuing his Journalism degree from Xavier’s Institute, he is a big fan of McLaren and their driver Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo. Arpit always looks forward to the paddock moving to Spa and drivers dealing with the exciting Eau Rouge corner as well the straight at Monza.

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