Verstappen secures the first pole position of the year, Red Bull record their first front row lock-out in Bahrain and Aston Martin get both cars into Q3 for the first time in almost two years. Here are the facts and statistics from qualifying at the 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix!
VERSTAPPEN TAKES 2023 BAHRAIN GRAND PRIX POLE
Max Verstappen took pole position at the 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix. Taking pole position for the 21st time in his career, Verstappen overtakes Damon Hill and Valtteri Bottas for 14th in the all-time list of most Formula 1 poles.
This was the second time Max Verstappen took pole position at the Bahrain Grand Prix, becoming Bahrain International Circuit’s seventh repeat polesitter. He last took pole at the track at the 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix.
With Sergio Perez second fastest, this is the first time Red Bull have locked-out the front row at the Bahrain Grand Prix. The team’s previous best qualifying result at the track came in 2012, when Sebastian Vettel took pole and Mark Webber qualified third.
Red Bull are the fourth team to lock-out the front row at the Bahrain Grand Prix, after Ferrari, Toyota and Mercedes.
Perez’s second place in qualifying for the 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix marked his best qualifying result to date at the track. His previous best qualifying result here was fourth, recorded in 2022.
IN THE TOP 10
The top four on the grid qualified in the same order at the 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix as they did at the previous race – the 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. It’s the first time this has happened since the same four drivers qualified in the same order at the top of the grid at the 2019 Singapore and Russian Grands Prix.
Fernando Alonso qualified in fifth place for the 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix, marking his best qualifying result in Bahrain since he qualified third for the 2013 Bahrain Grand Prix.
Lance Stroll qualified in eighth place, making this his best ever qualifying result in Bahrain. His previous best result here was tenth, recorded at the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix and the 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix.
With both Alonso and Stroll in Q3, Aston Martin recorded their first double Q3 appearance since the 2021 Austrian Grand Prix. This was the first time since 2013 – under their Force India guise – that both of the team’s drivers have qualified in the top eight at the Bahrain Grand Prix.
For the first time in Mercedes’ comeback stint, neither of their drivers qualified in the top five at the Bahrain Grand Prix. The last time the Brackley-based team failed to qualify in the top five at the event was in 2008, when they were under their Honda guise.
With seventh place, Lewis Hamilton qualified outside of the top six for the first time since the 2022 Belgian Grand Prix. It’s his worst qualifying result to date at the circuit, with Hamilton having never previously qualified outside of the top five at the venue. Nevertheless, Hamilton remains in a group of only four drivers who have a 100% Q3 appearance rate at the Bahrain Grand Prix. The other drivers in the group are Christian Klien, Juan Pablo Montoya and Paul di Resta.
On his Haas debut, Nico Hulkenberg reached Q3 at the 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix. His only lap time in the session was deleted, meaning he qualified tenth. It marked Hulkenberg’s first Q3 appearance since appearing with Racing Point at the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix in 2020.
This was Hulkenberg’s first Q3 appearance in Bahrain since the 2018 Bahrain Grand Prix.
OUT IN Q2
Lando Norris qualified in 11th place, ending a run of 11 consecutive Q3 appearances. On five of the last six occasions that Norris has been eliminated in Q2, he has qualified in 11th place.
For the first time since the 2022 Austrian Grand Prix, neither McLaren driver progressed to Q3 at the 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix.
Valtteri Bottas failed to reach Q3 at the 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix, marking the first time that the Finn has failed to reach Q3 at the Bahrain Grand Prix since his first appearance at the track in 2013.
Yuki Tsunoda qualified in 14th place. With Nyck de Vries out in Q1, this was the first time since the 2019 Bahrain Grand Prix that neither of the Red Bull junior team’s drivers progressed to Q3 at the circuit.
With 15th place in qualifying for the 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix, this was the first time since the 2022 United States Grand Prix that Alex Albon has not qualified on the back row of the grid.
OUT IN Q1
Just 1.128 seconds separated the fastest and slowest lap times in Q1 at the 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix – the smallest gap between the fastest and slowest cars in Q1 since the knockout system was introduced in 2006.
Logan Sargeant was eliminated in Q1 on debut. He missed out on Q1 by qualifying in 16th place, despite setting the same lap time as Lando Norris. Norris had set the lap time first, so he progressed to Q2 while the Williams driver was out in Q1.
Sargeant’s 16th place in qualifying marked the best qualifying result for an American driver in Formula 1 since Scott Speed qualified 15th at the 2007 British Grand Prix.
This was the first time since 2017 that both Williams drivers have qualified inside the top 16 at the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Both debutants were out in Q1, with Oscar Piastri qualifying in 18th place. Piastri’s Q1 elimination marked McLaren’s 80th Q1 exit in Formula 1.
Kevin Magnussen qualified in 17th place, marking his fifth Q1 exit at Bahrain International Circuit. He set a new record as the driver with the most Q1 eliminations at the venue, ovetaking Adrian Sutil, Marcus Ericsson and Nicholas Latifi.
Pierre Gasly’s best lap time – which was good enough only for 17th – was deleted, meaning he qualified 20th and last. It was his first back row qualification since the 2022 Hungarian Grand Prix.