Verstappen opens F1 season with #1 car at second place in Bahrain
Max Verstappen will drive his first grand prix in Formula 1 on Sunday as the reigning world champion. The 24-year-old Red Bull driver will start his eighth season in the premier class from second place in the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Charles Leclerc starts from pole position. The Monegasque was a fraction faster than the Dutchman in qualifying in his Ferrari on Saturday. The second row is also occupied by Red Bull and Ferrari. Spaniard Carlos Sainz will start for the Italian team from third place and Verstappen's teammate Sergio Pérez from fourth.
Behind it is Lewis Hamilton in fifth place. The seven-time world champion, who was dethroned by Verstappen in the final race in Abu Dhabi last year, has a new Mercedes that clearly lacks speed.
Last year, the Briton won the race on the desert circuit of Sakhir. He then narrowly beat Verstappen, who had started from pole. The opening race starts at 4 p.m. Dutch time. It will already be evening in Bahrain.
Reporting by ANP