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    Here’s when the lights go down in South Africa -Bahrain Grand Prix

    Red Bull secured the first row of the grid for Sunday’s season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, with Max Verstappen taking pole.

    The race will begin at 17:00. (SA time).

    After struggling with balance and form in practise, the 25-year-old Dutchman, who has never won in Bahrain or at a championship-opening race, achieved his 21st pole position of his career with a stunning set of laps in the third and final qualifying session (Q3).

    That was Red Bull’s first front row lockout in Bahrain, a circuit where they haven’t won since 2013, when the now-retired Sebastian Vettel won his fourth title.

    Last year’s polesitter and race winner Charles Leclerc finished third for Ferrari, ahead of teammate Carlos Sainz, who chose to preserve a set of tyres rather than undertake a second last flying run.

    Fernando Alonso, the two-time world champion, was unable to replicate his second and third practise times, but finished sixth for Aston Martin in his debut race for the team after joining from Alpine to replace Vettel.

    The 41-year-old Spaniard, who beat Verstappen to the pole position in final practise earlier on Saturday, said he had always thought pole place was an unattainable goal for Aston Martin.

    The Mercedes of George Russell and seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton were sixth and seventh ahead of Lance Stroll in the second Aston Martin, Esteban Ocon of Alpine and Haas’s Nico Hulkenberg.

    Here’s when the lights go down in South Africa -Bahrain Grand Prix, EntertainmentSA News South Africa
    IMAGE: Provided by Sporting News

    STARTING GRID FOR SUNDAY’S BAHRAIN GRAND PRIX AT SAKHIR:

    Front row

    Max Verstappen (NED/Red Bull)

    Sergio Perez (MEX/Red Bull)

    2nd row

    Charles Leclerc (MON/Ferrari)

    Carlos Sainz (ESP/Ferrari)

    3rd row

    Fernando Alonso (ESP/Aston Martin-Mercedes)

    George Russell (GBR/Mercedes)

    4th row

    Lewis Hamilton (GBR/Mercedes)

    Lance Stroll (CAN/Aston Martin-Mercedes)

    5th row

    Esteban Ocon (FRA/Alpine-Renault)

    Nico Hulkenberg (GER/Haas-Ferrari)

    6th row

    Lando Norris (GBR/McLaren-Mercedes)

    Valtteri Bottas (FIN/Alfa Romeo)

    7th row

    Zhou Guanyu (CHN/Alfa Romeo)

    Yuki Tsunoda (JPN/AlphaTauri-Red Bull)

    8th row

    Alexander Albon (THA/Williams-Mercedes)

    Logan Sargeant (USA/Williams-Mercedes)

    9th row

    Kevin Magnussen (DEN/Haas-Ferrari)

    Oscar Piastri (AUS/McLaren-Mercedes)

    10th row

    Nyck de Vries (NED/AlphaTauri-Red Bull)

    Pierre Gasly (FRA/Alpine-Renault)

    Main Image:Mark Thompson / Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

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