Monday, June 14

Sakhir GP: Valtteri Bottas edges George Russell, Max Verstappen for pole in fastest-ever F1 qualifying

Valtteri Bottas claims fifth pole of season as he edges Mercedes stand-in George Russell by just 0.026s; Max Verstappen third with Charles Leclerc fourth for Ferrari; Alex Albon knocked out in Q2 in 12th

Last Updated: 05/12/20 6:14pm

Valtteri Bottas edged Mercedes stand-in George Russell and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen to claim pole position for the Sakhir GP with Formula 1’s fastest-ever lap – as the maiden qualifying around Bahrain’s rapid ‘Outer’ track resulted in a thrilling and fascinatingly close shootout.

It was Bottas’ fifth pole of the season, and the quickest in F1 history at 53.377s, but he only claimed it by two hundredths of a second from Russell as the 22-year-old Englishman, who is replacing Lewis Hamilton this weekend, put in a remarkable performance on his Mercedes qualifying debut.

Russell got so close to Bottas on his final lap, as did Max Verstappen, who was a constant threat to Mercedes in a pulsating hour under the lights – but missed out on his first F1 2020 pole by 0.056s.

Charles Leclerc secured fourth for Ferrari with a superb lap at the start of Q3 as Alex Albon missed out on the top-10 shootout, eliminated in Q2 in 12th for Red Bull.

More to follow.

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