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Bahrain Grand Prix: Official starting grid with penalties applied

Bahrain Grand Prix: Official starting grid with penalties applied

F1 News

Bahrain Grand Prix: Official starting grid with penalties applied

Bahrain Grand Prix: Official starting grid with penalties applied

For the 10th time in his F1 career, Charles Leclerc will lead away the field after taking pole position for the opening race of the new season in Bahrain.

A scintillating qualifying battle between the Ferrari drivers of Leclerc and team-mate Carlos Sainz, and reigning champion Max Verstappen in his Red Bull, was won by the Monégasque, with the Dutch driver alongside him on the front row.

Now Leclerc will have to contend with what Lewis Hamilton faced throughout most of last season, and that is going up against a charging, challenging Verstappen ready to give no quarter in a bid for victory.

As for seven-time champion Hamilton, the Mercedes driver lines up fifth after finishing seven-tenths of a second off Leclerc's pace, and in a 'bouncing' W13 faces a difficult task to finish on the podium, with the race win seemingly a stretch too far.

Bizarrely, Hamilton is joined on the third row by former Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas as Alfa Romeo has taken considerable strides forward, as well as Haas, with Kevin Magnussen seventh on his fairytale return to F1.

Further back, it was a disastrous qualifying for McLaren and Aston Martin who both face a tough ask to clamber into the top 10.

With no penalties applied overnight, the official starting grid is as follows...

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