Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (1) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB20 on track during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Bahrain at Bahrain International Circuit on March 01, 2024 in Bahrain, Bahrain. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Formula 1 News: Bahrain GP Post-Qualifying Quotes

After a tricky Friday on the track, Red Bull didn’t go into qualifying as heavy favorites for the 2024 Bahrain GP.  Then Max Verstappen worked his magic.

Red Bull

Max Verstappen, 1st, 1:29.179

“It feels good to be back on pole today! Testing was really good and then this weekend was a bit more tricky for us; it was difficult to get the balance of the car right due to the tricky conditions with the wind being quite strong. Heading into qualifying, no one knew where we all stood and it was very tight, but this is exciting for the sport. We made some good improvements on the car and also improved performance from FP3 to qualifying and in Q3 we had a little bit more grip. Ultimately, I am pleased with the performance of the car and was happy to be back competing again today. Looking to tomorrow, I have a good feeling and am confident ahead of the race. We know it is about looking after the tires in the best way possible as anything can happen in the race. We have a good race car and hopefully we can show the same performance as we did today.”

Sergio Perez, 5th, 1:29.537

“My lap wasn’t as clean as it could have been into turn one and that means two or three places when everything is so tight is up there. It was tricky, we were learning throughout qualifying, it was the first time we had run such a light car. We didn’t get the maximum because we lost a set of soft tires for Q3 on an aborted lap in Q2, that was a negative but a positive is that the car was performing well in qualifying. We have some work to do but what matters is tomorrow, and we are on the right side of the grid so we should be able to have a strong start. A lot of teams saved the hard tire but we saved those softs and that means we will be on different strategies out there. The target tomorrow will be to make progress and onto the podium, things are really close and it is going to be a nice battle ahead.”

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB20 during the Bahrain GP at Bahrain International Circuitin Sakhir, Bahrain. (Photo by Simon Galloway / LAT Images)

Christian Horner, Team Principal

“It was a great lap from Max, the circuit was getting cooler, so it was getting a little trickier. He didn’t think it was enough to take pole but thankfully it was and he put it together very well. It was very tight behind him, I have been saying the regulations are going to concertina the field and the start of this year is starting to show that, which make things exciting for everyone. It should be an interesting race tomorrow, this grid is so tight, there was only a tenth and a half between third and seventh so I am not concerned about Checo starting from P5. It’s a long lap to race around here and I am confident he will be in a good place to compete for the podium.”


Charles Leclerc, 2nd, 1:29.407

“It was a good qualifying after what has been quite a tricky weekend. We tried a few things in the free practice sessions and I found the sweet spot in qualifying. We went out on a set of used tires at first in Q3 which compromised our rhythm a bit, before switching to a new set but overall, it feels like we are in a better place than we were at the start of last year. We have to wait and see where we stand in terms of race pace and Red Bull still seem to be a step ahead of the rest of the pack. I’ll take any opportunity we have.”

Pole position qualifier Max Verstappen of the Netherlands and Oracle Red Bull Racing talks with Second placed qualifier Charles Leclerc of Monaco and Ferrari in a press conference after qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Bahrain at Bahrain International Circuit on March 01, 2024 in Bahrain, Bahrain. (Photo by Peter Fox/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool
Pole position qualifier Max Verstappen of the Netherlands and Oracle Red Bull Racing talks with Second placed qualifier Charles Leclerc of Monaco and Ferrari in a press conference after qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Bahrain at Bahrain International Circuit on March 01, 2024 in Bahrain, Bahrain. (Photo by Peter Fox/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Carlos Sainz, 4th, 1:29.507

“It was a super tight session and all in all it hasn’t been a bad first qualifying for the season. In Q3 we were not able to really put everything together, but we are in a decent spot for tomorrow’s race in P4.

“After testing we are confident that we have improved our race pace compared to the beginning of last year, so I’m looking forward to finally going at it tomorrow and finding out where we are on pace. Let’s kick-off the season with a good one!”

#55 Ferrari of Carlos Sainz Jr.

Fred Vasseur, Team Principal

“We were P1 in Q1 and Q2 so it would lead you to expect we could do a P1 in Q3, but it did not go that well, as we did not manage to put everything together on the last lap. But generally, our performance was encouraging as we were on the pace through all the sessions. That was only the first step of the weekend, now we will see tomorrow what is the situation over the long runs. As we’ve been saying since the beginning of the weekend, it’s very difficult to read the winter test and we are still completely in the dark about fuel levels.

VASSEUR Frédéric (fra), Team Principal & General Manager of the Scuderia Ferrari, portrait during the Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix 2024, 1st round of the 2024 FIA Formula One World Championship from February 29 to March 2, 2024 on the Bahrain International Circuit, in Sakhir, Bahrain – Photo Florent Gooden / DPPI

“From what we have seen so far, it’s possible that this year Red Bull will not have the kind of comfort zone they had last year and maybe more teams could put them under pressure when they have to make decisions relating to strategy or even set-up.

“Looking ahead to the race we will focus first on ourselves: we want to verify if the car is more consistent in terms of tire degradation, which seems to be the case, and then we will see what we can bring home. The first target is not to leave any points on the table.”


Lewis Hamilton, 9th, 1:29.710

“I struggled throughout Qualifying as we have in the past couple of years.

“The car is feeling really great, but I just went a little bit in a direction to help my race pace. I wasn’t feeling as comfortable with that yesterday so that was the focus. I’ve definitely sacrificed more single-lap performance than I hoped too but I hope that pays off tomorrow.

2024 Bahrain Grand Prix, – LAT Images

“It’s a lot of work to do to get past a lot of quick cars that are starting ahead of me, but I’m sure it’ll be fun. George’s position and the pace he showed today really highlights, and is a real testament, to the team.

“It shows just how hard everyone has worked over the winter. It’s amazing for us to have a car that we can fight with. It reignites the fire and the flame within us drivers. For me today, Bono and everyone else did a great job.”

George Russell, 3rd, 1:29.485

“Everybody at the factory has done a great job to give Lewis and I a car that we are much happier with. It’s a base that we can build upon. We’ve still got some catching up to do to be at the very front, but starting P3 for tomorrow’s race is a good place to be.

“It’s clear how tight it is between a number of teams, including ourselves, Ferrari, the McLarens, and Aston Martin. It is exciting knowing that if you put the whole lap together and find a tenth or two, that will add up to several positions on the grid.

“Since the test, the whole team has been working incredibly hard to fine-tune the set-up and make improvements.

“We’ve clearly made a big step forward in our single lap pace. Hopefully we haven’t compromised our race pace, but we will see tomorrow. I think we’re likely to be in a close fight for the podium positions behind Verstappen.”

Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport

“Yesterday we looked slightly better than today on our single-lap performance. We intentionally tried to set the car up for tomorrow’s race though, so we hope we’re in more of a sweet spot for the Grand Prix tomorrow.

“The set-up changes we made certainly contributed to the drop in our performance today. At the start of Qualifying, we wondered if we had sacrificed too much for tomorrow but in the end, it wasn’t too bad. P3 is a good place to start but we were still three tenths off pole position.

“Behind Verstappen, the gaps are so close with several other teams. Just a couple of tenths makes such a big difference. It’s about the absolute tiny margins and if you find even small gains, then you are right in the game.

“We hope that tomorrow will be a little bit better but we are still learning so much about this car.”

Andrew Shovlin, Trackside Engineering Director

“It’s been much harder to get the lap-time out of the car today than yesterday. We made some changes overnight to try and improve the long run and that has likely cost us some single lap pace.

“It was very encouraging for the team to see George put it in P3 at the first race though. Lewis didn’t have a clean run through the sessions and he’ll no doubt be frustrated by that as he’d looked to be very quick yesterday. Nevertheless, we expect him to have strong pace in the race tomorrow and he’s no doubt relieved to see that the W15 has way more potential than the two cars that came before it.

“We’re looking forward to tomorrow. It’s a race where you can overtake, so good race pace is really important. More than anything though, it will be interesting to see how the car performs and where everyone falls out in terms of pace.”

Aston Martin

Fernando Alonso, 6th, 1:29.542

“It was a nice surprise tonight in Qualifying to finish sixth and a very good way to start the new season. We were cautious heading into the session, but we found ourselves competitive and in the end we were only a tenth away from the Ferraris in Q3. The car felt more connected this weekend and our fine tuning was a real positive. I think it will be very close tomorrow in the race and the fine margins between us all means how we manage everything will be key. Let’s see what we can do, but I’m confident heading into the race.”

Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin AMR24 during the Bahrain GP at Bahrain International Circuit on Thursday February 29, 2024 in Sakhir, Bahrain. (Photo by Steven Tee / LAT Images)
Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin AMR24 during the Bahrain GP at Bahrain International Circuit on Thursday February 29, 2024 in Sakhir, Bahrain. (Photo by Steven Tee / LAT Images)

Lance Stroll, 12th, 1:30.200

“The AMR24 felt good in Qualifying – a reflection of the work we put in over testing to configure the set up. I had a strong flying lap in Q1 and was happy with my pace, but then got caught in some traffic at Turn 13 in my final Q2 run. That can be the difference between progressing [into Q3] or not when it’s such a tight field and every tenth matters. Such a close pack should make for an interesting race tomorrow; I’ll do my best to get a good start and we’ll go from there.”

Mike Krack, Team Principal

“A well-executed Qualifying session sets us up nicely for a strong race where we can compete for strong points. Our Qualifying laps were clean and tidy, and we saw just how close all the teams are this year in terms of single-lap performance. You have to really get everything right in these circumstances because every tenth of a second matters. Our focus over the winter has been to close the gap to the front and the early indications are encouraging, but it’s only the first Qualifying session of the year and we need to see how things unfold in the race. We will finally get the answers tomorrow on race performance: we’ve done our homework and have prepared well over the last couple of weeks, so let’s see what we can do.”


Lando Norris, 7th, 1:29.614

“The car felt great all through qualifying and there’s a lot of potential. I didn’t get the best lap in at the end, but it’s a long race and there are plenty of overtaking opportunities. We’ll see what we can do to go forwards.”

Oscar Piastri, 8th, 1:29.683

“P8. A significant improvement on last year. I did struggle with the balance all session and felt a fair way off compared to yesterday. It came together a bit more on the last lap in Q3, but it was a bit tricky. However, going into tomorrow, I think we can be in the mix. The grid is quite tight and there isn’t much in it, so it won’t be easy, but we’ll see what we can do.”

Andrea Stella, Team Principal

“Overall, we can be quite pleased with the performance of the car. We are the most improved team on the grid compared to this time last year and we were in the mix in qualifying for the top positions on the grid. At the same time, there’s a little bit of a bitter taste that we didn’t fully capitalize on the pace in the car. Lando, in Q3, had issues in Turn One on both attempts, and felt he could be starting higher, but he looked very strong in Sectors Two and Three, which is encouraging for the race. Oscar did a very good job of steadily finding pace through the sessions. After Q1, he felt the car was a little unpredictable, but he and his engineers did well to stay calm, make the right adjustments and, ultimately, deliver a strong result. We have a solid base from which to score good points, and we’re looking forward to tomorrow’s race.”


Nico Hulkenberg, 10th, 1:30.502

“At the end of last year, I still managed to put it into Q3 a few times and we knew from last season qualifying was our strength. It looks like we’ve not lost it, but we need to fix the race day issue from before. Obviously, that’s the most crucial point for us this season, and we pretty much only focused on that in testing, and also in the winter to dial-out that characteristic that we had last year. It feels better but tomorrow is the real test to see if it actually is better, so exciting times ahead.”

Kevin Magnussen, 15th, 1:30.529

“For me, I can’t be happy with that, I didn’t do a good lap in qualifying. The positive thing is we feel we’ve made some progress with the car, so I’m looking forward to tomorrow in the race. I know our race pace is decent so we can be more competitive, which hopefully is the case, and if it is then it will be a very different situation to last year where we were only falling back. I’m gutted with today honestly but looking forward to Saturday.”

Ayao Komatsu, Team Principal

“From FP3, we focused on our low-fuel performance and after the sessions we thought if we could do a good job, we can get into Q2 – we achieved that so I’m very happy. What a lap from Nico in Q2 to get into Q3, so again I’m really happy with that also. In Q3 we had, let’s say, a calm state of mind to know that we’re not racing Mercedes or McLaren tomorrow, so we kept one new set of tires for Nico for Saturday, and we’ve given ourselves the best chance. I’d like to think that all the things we’ve been learning from pre-season testing and from yesterday’s high-fuel runs, we can put it into practice tomorrow and try and score some points.”

Social Media Auto Publish Powered By :