Bahrain Grand Prix: Verstappen on pole as Red Bull lock out front row

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Max Verstappen led a Red Bull one-two as he took the pole position for the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.

The Dutchman beat team-mate Sergio Perez by 0.138 seconds, with the Ferraris of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz locking out the second row.

Fernando Alonso made an impressive start to his time at Aston Martin with fifth place, ahead of both Mercedes cars.

George Russell beat Lewis Hamilton to sixth place by just 0.044secs.

Leclerc had been second after the first runs in final qualifying, 0.103secs behind Verstappen, but Ferrari chose not to do a second run to enable them to start the race on new tyres rather than used so he lost out on a second chance to try to get ahead.

Red Bull went into the weekend as strong pre-season favourites but they have struggled to make the car handle in a way that satisfied the drivers and appeared not to have the advantage many expected.

In the end, the grid had a look many would have predicted after testing last week, but Verstappen said it had not been easy. (BBC Sport) 

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