Formula 1 Qualifying:Bahrain Grand Prix’2019- Live Commentary

Welcome along everyone to Bahrain Grand Prix’2019- Live Commentary. The stage is set, the lights are on full-tilt, 3 DRS zones, Ferrari back in its elements. The deserts of Bahrain will hold the spectacle to behold as top names have a slugfest to finish at pole position. As fans, we couldn’t hasve asked more. The practice sessions has shown us that Mercedes have a fight on their hands. The midfield looks tight as ever.

Full Practice session analysis here.

Q1:

  • 3 minutes to go before teams come out. All is on the drivers now. Teams have done their job.
  • Green lights
  • Williams out first on the track with Kubica, Russell and Albon.
  • Kubica aborts his lap
  • Teams don’t seem to be in any hurry to come out, quiet grid.
  • Albon tops currently with 1.31 time. Russell ends 1.2 sec behind him.
  • Norris on an outlap in his McLaren, lot of hope from the McLaren driver.
  • Here they come. Mercedes, Ferrari, Haas, RedBull(Except Verstappen) and Kvyat on their out laps.
  • Norris finds the Haas of Grosjean in his way. Compromised his lap greatly. Let’s see what’s the stewards say.
  • Bottas goes top with 1.29. Hamilton 2-tenths behind.
  • Whoah, Leclerc in Ferrari is a second quicker than Mercedes. This is heated up.
  • Vettel is 2 tenths behind. He looks to be in under pressure, locking up and going wide on his lap.
  • Kimi lands on 8th with a 1.29 odd time. RedBull honda not looking that strong.
  • Sainz was very quick in his lap, slots in 4th only 1 sec behind Ferrari. Gasly is truly struggling , currently on 12th.
  • Hamilton on his 2nd run, goes 3rd fastest. Haas look very strong, confirming their good performance in practice.
  • Wow !! Kimi just survives the scare of elimination from Q1 as Hulkenberg didn’t better his time. Shocker for the German.
  • What a run from the McLaren’s. Norris ends up on 4th. Ricciardo 11th, beating his teammate. Albon 6th, also beating his teammate by a good margin.

As we have seen throughout this season, the midfield is packed. At the sharp end, it is advantage Ferrari. Worrying times for Mercedes. Join for Q2 in 5 minutes or so.

Alonso, sitting at the pit control room must be thinking about a return, looking at the current performance of McLaren.

Q2

Clock is ticking. Grid is quiet for now. Drivers in top 10, will start the race on tyres they set the fastest laps on in this session. Even top teams are not safe, looking at the most of so called mid fields team performance.

  • Bottas out of pits first. Everybody on softest tyres it seems. No one is taking any chances.
  • Lewis goes quickest for now, McLaren already doing well. Ferrari though are very quick.
  • Wow, Leclerc is .5s ahead of Hamilton. Seb lost some time in middle sector and ends in at 5th. Ferrari look a handful for Mercedes to deal with.
  • Half a second separates the 4th to 10th position. Seems like the lines have blurred between the top teams and mid fielders. Ricciardo hangs on to 11th and faces possibility of elimination. Vettel again locks up on his hot lap, that’s where he lost his time.
  • Another disappointing outing for Gasly, sitting at 12th. Verstappen will chew him this season.
  • Grosjean, Norris, Kimi, Sainz, Vettel on their outlaps.
  • No changes beyond the 10th position on the 2nd runs. Status quo maintained. Kimi survives at 10th.
  • A dismal 13th for Gasly, sounds dejected on his radio. Car not behaving as he wants as he believes the rear end gives up when he goes on throttle.
  • Charles Leclerc is on fire, lighting up the timing screens at the top. McLaren doing a mega job at the moment.

Q3

  • So, it begins. The final showdown. Will it be Ferrari domination all the way? Will Mercedes be able to match them? Lets find out.
  • Mega lap for K-Mag. Hamilton beats Bottas by a tenth. Leclerc goes fastest, into the 1.27’s, 2 tenths up on Hamilton.
  • Haas currently 4th, 7-tenths up on next place man Sainz.
  • Will Seb finally show the character of champion, do better than his teammate in his only hotlap?
  • Teams out on their final hotlap.
  • Vettel finishes only 2nd, Bottas on 4th, Hamilton ends 3rd. And no surprises as to who is on pole. It’s the Monagasque kid, Charles Leclerc. Ferrari front row lockout.

The Top-10 grid:

  • 1  Charles LECLERC Ferrari 1:27.866
  • 2  Sebastian VETTEL Ferrari +0.294
  • 3  Lewis HAMILTON Mercedes +0.324
  • 4  Valtteri BOTTAS Mercedes +0.390
  • 5  Max VERSTAPPEN Red Bull Racing+0.886
  • 6  Kevin MAGNUSSEN Haas F1 Team+0.891
  • 7  Carlos SAINZ McLaren +0.947
  • 8  Romain GROSJEAN Haas F1 Team +1.149
  • 9  Kimi RÄIKKÖNEN Alfa Romeo Racing +1.156
  • 10  Lando NORRIS McLaren +1.177

Mega night for Ferrari, mega night for Charles. Worry for Mercedes, even though they came close but were never really close to Charles’s pace. It is going to be Ferrari’s race to lose. Lewis is ever the fighter as we saw in Italy last year. We can never count Bottas out after Australia.

It will be interesting to see if Ferrari let Charles keep his top slot. What will be the race start be like? Will we see a safety car at start?

Lewis looks uncharacteristically cheerful, after getting 3rd position. Says a few good words for Charles, deservedly so. Seb looked to be avoiding eye contact during the grid interview.

This ends today’s broadcast. Let’s see what happens tomorrow. Join me here for the live commentary.

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