Verstappen on pole for Bahrain Grand Prix, Schumacher ready for debut — live buildup | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW

Max Verstappen edged out champion Lewis Hamilton by 0.39 seconds on his final qualifying lap to claim a fourth career pole position and secure a strong start for his Red Bull team on Saturday.

Hamilton will start in second, with his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas in third and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in fourth. With Mercedes having dominated the sport in recent years, the Red Bull car has been tipped by many observers to pose a serious threat this season, particularly with a driver as talented as Verstappen at the wheel.

But the two Germans in the field will start some way behind. Sebastian Vettel, who endured a tough season with Ferrari last time out was among the five drivers eliminated from Q1 and starts 18th for Aston Martin.

One spot back from him, Michael Schumacher’s son, Mick Schumacher, starts from 19th at the track where his father won the inaugural race in 2004.

What they said

Verstappen: “We had a good week of testing. There are no guarantees but it’s been great so far, really enjoyable to drive. … The car has been steady on the short and long runs, we have a good car. We need a good, clean start.”

Hamilton: “I absolutely gave it everything I had, but unfortunately it wasn’t good enough. There’s always more, but it was the best I could do, I got everything I could from the car.”

The course

The Bahrain International Circuit is a 5,412-kilometer course that presents opportunities for overtaking, especially in the start-finish straight.

The hot weather often a significant factor in Bahrain and sand has proved a big issue on the desert track. The race has been run in the evenings since 2014.

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