Lewis Hamilton struggles down in fifth for Bahrain GP opening race as Charles Leclerc takes pole and Verstappen second

FERRARI delivered on their vow to provide a aggressive automobile in 2022 as Charles Leclerc secured a shocking pole in Bahrain.

The Frenchman beat world champion Max Verstappen to P1… however Lewis Hamilton was nowhere to be seen.

Leclerc took pole for Ferrari
Leclerc took pole for FerrariCredit: AFP
Verstappen secured P2 for Sunday's race
Verstappen secured P2 for Sunday’s raceCredit: Reuters
It was a poor day for Hamilton and Mercedes
It was a poor day for Hamilton and MercedesCredit: Reuters

Flying Dutchman Verstappen missed out on pole to Leclerc by simply 0.1 seconds, with the Ferrari man main the best way with a time of 1 minute 30.5 seconds.

His Ferrari team-mate Carlos Sainz will begin third in the grid, with the opposite Red Bull, pushed by Sergio Perez, in fourth.

It was a depressing day for Hamilton and Mercedes although as the Brit struggled to search out any tempo, ending 0.7 seconds off Leclerc’s time.

The seven-time world champ will begin Sunday’s GP fifth on the grid.

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Latest reaction as Thor says Hall is welcome to rematch after FLOORING Brit

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Latest response as Thor says Hall is welcome to rematch after FLOORING Brit

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Hamilton although wasn’t too disheartened with the efficiency as he advised his crew: “That’s a great effort guys, keep our heads down and continue to push.”

And issues have been even worse for team-mate George Russell.

Hamilton qualified way back in fifth
Hamilton certified manner again in fifthCredit: AP

He will begin even additional again than Hamilton in NINTH – behind Valteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo), Kevin Magnussen (Haas) and Fernando Alonso (Alpine).

Pierre Gasly rounded off the highest ten for Alpha Tauri.

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Speaking on taking dwelling pole, Leclerc stated: “It feels good. The final two years have been extremely tough for the crew.

“We were quite hopeful that this new opportunity for us was an opportunity to be back in the front and I think we have worked extremely well as a team to find ourself again in a position to fight for better places.”

Elsewhere Verstappen reacted: “We have race automobile, which on the finish of the day is an important.

“Here you want to be good in qualifying of course but you also really want to make sure your car is working for the race, because the tyres are really struggling a lot more there and it’s a bit different to some other tracks.”

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