Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Bahrain International Circuit, 2022

Verstappen confident in car’s race pace after “hit-and-miss” qualifying

2022 Bahrain Grand Prix

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Max Verstappen believes Red Bull had a good car for the race after being beaten to pole position by Charles Leclerc for the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Despite being fastest in the second and third practice sessions of the weekend, Verstappen missed out on the first pole position of the season by just over a tenth of a second from the Ferrari driver and ahead of Carlos Sainz Jnr.

However, the Red Bull driver is confident that the RB18 be strong for tomorrow’s race.

“I think it was a bit hit-and-miss,” Verstappen said of qualifying. “Q2 seemed quite good, then Q3 was a bit more of a struggle to get the balance together, but nevertheless, I think it was all right.

“I think we have a good car, a good race car as well which, at the end of the day, is most important. It was a good day, overall. It’s a good start to the new era.”

After the first qualifying session for the radical new cars for 2022, Verstappen said that his car felt “not fantastic, but also not too bad – otherwise, you cannot be in this position.”

With tyre degradation proving to be higher than expected prior to the weekend, Verstappen believes that managing tyres will be crucial during tomorrow’s race.

“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,” he said.

“It was nice – a really close battle with Carlos and Charles at the end. So they did a really good job over the winter and hopefully it’s going to be an exciting race.”

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2022 Bahrain Grand Prix

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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10 comments on “Verstappen confident in car’s race pace after “hit-and-miss” qualifying”

  1. I don’t care what you say, I’m just happy Mercedes isn’t running away anymore

  2. It certainly looks very tight between the two teams, so if it stays like this for a while we’re in for another banger of a championship between these two teams. Exciting stuff.

  3. I’d have preferred to see 2 or 3 new protagonists at the front!

    1. Lec, ver, San, per that’s 4.

      1. He said NEW, can you read?

        1. As far as protagonist go at least three of them are new.. Can’t you count?

  4. So what actually happens this season is a reshuffling of the top 3. So much for the “biggest reg change in the last 30 years”…

    1. RandomMallard
      19th March 2022, 21:37

      It very much is the biggest reg change in 30 years. It’s completely changed the philosophy the teams have been using for creating downforce ever since ground effect was first banned in the early 1980s. It’s just, unsurprisingly, the top 3 teams, who have a lot more resources than other teams, managed to adapt easiest to them.

      1. ground effect cars? f1 for the past 30 years all about downforce to have as much ground effect as possible. 2009-2010 was all about more ground effect through double diffusers, only banned in 2011. now dd is back, again. only difference is no active suspension, so harder to control the limits of stall and bouncing effects…

  5. Great to see Ferrari on pole again. Congrats to Alfa and Haas. What happened to the Aston’s?

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