First F1 pole position for Charles Leclerc

Charles Leclerc sets a new lap record to secure pole position at just the 23rd race of his F1 career

Charles Leclerc will start the Bahrain Grand Prix from pole position for the first time in his career after setting a new outright lap record in qualifying this afternoon.

The Ferrari man will lineup alongside his teammate Sebastian Vettel after posting a time of 1:27.866 in Sakhir, with the Mercedes drivers securing the second row.

The Monegasque driver was quickest in all three qualifying sessions, and no driver from another team ever looked like getting close to the Ferrari duo.

Nico Hulkenberg was the surprise casualty in Q1, with the Renault driver finding himself in the bottom six, along with the two Williams cars, Lance Stroll and Antonio Giovinazzi.

Lando Norris comfortably progressed to the second part of qualifying and on to Q3, despite appearing to be blocked by Romain Grosjean on his flying lap. The stewards are investigating the incident.

After a disappointing qualifying in Australia, there was another poor showing from Pierre Gasly, with the Frenchman still looking for his first Q3 appearance since moving to Red Bull.

Gasly’s teammate, Max Verstappen, only had the chance to set one flying lap in the top 10 shootout after using an extra set of tyres earlier in the session, but the Dutchman did enough to take fifth, while Kevin Magnussen starts alongside him on the third row as the best of the drivers from outside the top three teams.

Both McLaren’s were in the top 10, along with the Haas drivers and Kimi Raikkonen from Alfa Romeo, despite his teammate dropping out in Q1.

Provisional qualifying result:

1 Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)

2. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari)

3. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

4. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes)

5. Max Verstappen (Red Bull)

6. Kevin Magnussen (Haas)

7. Carlos Sainz (McLaren)

8. Romain Grosjean (Haas)

9. Kimi Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo)

10. Lando Norris (McLaren)

11. Daniel Ricciardo (Renault)

12. Alexander Albon (Toro Rosso)

13. Pierre Gasly (Red Bull)

14. Sergio Perez (Racing Point)

15. Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso)

16. Antonio Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo)

17. Nico Hulkenberg (Renault)

18. Lance Stroll (Racing Point)

19. George Russell (Williams)

20. Robert Kubica (Williams)

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