Max Verstappen and Alex Albon will start on the second row of the grid at Sunday’s Bahrain Grand Prix behind world champion Lewis Hamilton on pole and his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas.
Frenchman Pierre Gasly will line up eighth for Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda with Russian teammate Daniil Kvyat 10th for the first of the Sakhir circuit’s double-header.
Aston Martin Red Bull Racing
MAX VERSTAPPEN – 3rd
“My lap felt pretty good but we just lacked a bit of rear grip in the low speed corners but overall it was quite a decent qualifying. Of course I would have liked to fight for pole but if that is not possible I think it is ok to start third and on the clean side of the grid. Let’s see how we go tomorrow in the race because it’s very hard on tyres here so hopefully we’ve made the right compromise on that.
We have different tyres to choose from so hopefully that works to our favour but we’ll see. It’s always difficult to say if we can fight Mercedes and I definitely think they picked up their pace today but I will try and keep as close as possible and hopefully find an opportunity.”
ALEX ALBON – 4th
“It feels good to equal my best quali, I did want more from the session but if you look how it was 24 hours ago, this was a good result. Starting on the second row puts us in a good position to take the fight to Mercedes. Coming from FP3, the car was feeling really strong and I was ready to push hard in qualifying.
We were surprisingly quick today compared to yesterday but I haven’t done a long run yet so let’s see how that goes tomorrow! I’ll be starting on the mediums tomorrow, I think the deg will be high so managing the tyres will be crucial. It will be a fun race for the fans to watch, that’s for sure.”
CHRISTIAN HORNER – Team Principal
“It was a solid qualifying session from both drivers with third and fourth our best result at this circuit in the hybrid era. We thought we might be able to split the two Mercedes with Max but we just missed out by a tenth in the end.
Nonetheless Max in third and a good qualifying for Alex to line up alongside him in fourth are great starting positions for tomorrow’s Grand Prix, especially at a track where overtaking is possible, so hopefully we’re set up for an exciting race. It was a good recovery for Alex, particularly after yesterday’s incident, and with fourth he matches his best qualifying result of the season.”
Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda
PIERRE GASLY – 8th
“It’s really positive to get both cars into Q3 today, but as for myself, even if I’m happy for the team, deep inside I’m still a bit disappointed with P8. I don’t really know how to feel about it because we looked really strong all weekend, so I wanted a bit more. It was so tight, only a tenth to P5 and I would have liked to be on that third row tomorrow, but that’s how it is and I think it’s still a decent place to start the race.
I expect pretty exciting battles on track tomorrow and I think we have the potential to fight for a good position. Strategy-wise, it will be pretty unusual and interesting, so I think we’ll see many different options between the teams. Tyre degradation will be the key factor, so I’m looking forward to it.”
DANIIL KVYAT – 10th
“I’m quite happy with how Qualifying went as it was a good and competitive session. Q2 was very solid, we had one shot with a different compound and we took it, there was quite a bit of pressure on us, but we managed. I wasn’t too happy with my Q3 lap, as I made a couple of mistakes and maybe we took a slightly wrong direction with the front wing.
Nevertheless, it was a strong Qualifying and puts us in a good position to have a strong race tomorrow. The tyres suffer a lot around here, so it will be different from what we’ve experienced so far this year. Of course, there were some races where the tyres were tricky, but tomorrow will certainly be an interesting challenge.”
CLAUDIO BALESTRI – Chief Engineer Vehicle Performance
“Today’s sessions have highlighted how tight the midfield pack is, with small differences in lap time having quite big effects on the final positions. Compared with the past years, FP3 was closer to Qualifying in terms of track conditions and we were able to validate the setup changes we made overnight, focusing the attention on Quali preparation using two sets of Options this afternoon.
This evening’s session was not an easy one, especially Q2 when we were forced to change our plan due to the red flag. However, the performance from both cars was strong today which allowed Pierre and Daniil to make it into Q3 and start tomorrow’s race on what we consider to be the best tyre. Considering our competitive long-run pace on Friday, we will try to get into the points with both drivers.”