Leclerc claims pole for Bahrain GP as Hamilton and Mercedes struggle

Behind Leclerc, qualifying heralded a potential dog-fight between three manufacturers at the front of the field with Mercedes in the unusual position of playing catch-up to rivals Red Bull and a resurgent Ferrari. Leclerc put in an almighty lap with a time of 1:30.558 and much as Verstappen attacked he could not match it, a tenth back, just in front of Sainz. It is his 10th pole position and Ferrari’s first since Leclerc took the top spot in Baku last year. Finally free to fully push to the limit, Leclerc was able to extract a mighty lap that amply demonstrated what a competitive car Ferrari have. The porpoising problem plaguing other teams, particularly Mercedes, has been all but eliminated and Leclerc’s pace demonstrated just how well the car is dialled-in. It can be ameliorated by adjusting the setup of the car at the cost of lap time.

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