Ferrari rookie Charles Leclerc shows old-timers who's boss at the Bahrain Grand Prix
Ferrari's newest driver Charles Leclerc has beaten his more experienced race drivers on the Formula One grid to take his first ever pole position at the Bahrain Grand Prix.
With this pole position, the 21-year-old Formula One rookie became the first Monegasque driver ever to take pole for a world championship race. His teammate, the more experienced and former world champion Sebastian Vettel qualified in second place behind him, with Ferrari locking out the front row of the grid.
Leclerc also became the second youngest pole-sitter in F1 history behind Vettel, who qualified three-tenths behind him. Vettel was the previous holder of the title after his 2008 Italian GP pole.
While the Scuderia drivers looked lacklustre in Australia in the season opener race two weeks ago, the men in red used the Bahrain Grand Prix qualifying to show off Ferrari's true pace.
At the post qualifying press conference Leclerc said:
“This first pole position brings me a lot of emotions, even if I’m trying to stay as cool as possible, as there are no points for pole position and the race is tomorrow. It has been a great day and a great weekend overall for the team so far, so I hope it will continue tomorrow. I said it was a question of putting everything together for qualifying and it seems I did it, unlike what happened in the first race. It’s an amazing feeling but now we have to focus on the race and try to bring home the best possible result tomorrow."
Betraying a hint of how much his first pole position means to him, the Monegasque racer said: “This pole is for my dad, for Jules [Bianchi] and for Charlie [Whiting].”
In Bahrain, Ferrari equalled McLaren and Williams with their 62nd frontrow lockout.
Here are the full Bahrain GP qualifying results:
1 Charles Leclerc (Mon) Ferrari 1min 27.866secs
2 Sebastian Vettel (Ger) Ferrari 1:28.160
3 Lewis Hamilton (Gbr) Mercedes GP 1:28.190
4 Valtteri Bottas (Fin) Mercedes GP 1:28.256
5 Max Verstappen (Ned) Red Bull 1:28.752
6 Kevin Magnussen (Den) Haas F1 1:28.757
7 Carlos Sainz (Esp) McLaren 1:28.813
8 Romain Grosjean (Fra) Haas F1 1:29.015
9 Kimi Raikkonen (Fin) Alfa Romeo Racing 1:29.022
10 Lando Norris (Gbr) McLaren 1:29.043
11 Daniel Ricciardo (Aus) Renault 1:29.488
12 Alexander Albon (Tha) Scuderia Toro Rosso 1:29.513
13 Pierre Gasly (Fra) Red Bull 1:29.526
14 Sergio Perez (Mex) Racing Point 1:29.756
15 Daniil Kvyat (Rus) Scuderia Toro Rosso 1:29.854
16 Antonio Giovinazzi (Ita) Alfa Romeo Racing 1:30.026
17 Nico Hulkenberg (Ger) Renault 1:30.034
18 Lance Stroll (Can) Racing Point 1:30.217
19 George Russell (Gbr) Williams 1:31.759
20 Robert Kubica (Pol) Williams 1:31.799