Qualifying Team Talk – 2019 Bahrain Grand Prix


Qualifying Team Talk – 2019 Bahrain Grand Prix

Race Weekend: 2019 Bahrain Grand Prix

Session: Qualifying

So, today, we had a completely different Qualifying session when compared to Australia! I mean, where was Ferrari’s pace in the first race weekend of the 2019 Formula 1 season? Wherever it was, today they seemed to have made a strong comeback – being competitive throughout P3 and especially during Qualifying.

Whilst Ferrari locked out the front row, it wasn’t Vettel who claimed pole – it was his team-mate Charles Leclerc with the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton right behind the pair.

Was there a problem with Vettel’s car or was he simply under pressure to perform? He stayed out of the car at the end of Q2 and for the first part of Q3 going for one run during the end of Q3. Whatever the case, we seem to have a great race on our hands tomorrow.

MERCEDES – Qualifying Team Talk 2019 Bahrain Grand Prix


Lewis Hamilton: “I really enjoyed Qualifying and it was great to see the progression for us over the weekend. Congratulations to Charles, he did a great job and deserved to get his first pole today.”

“We’ve seen strong pace from the Ferrari’s all weekend long. We’ve worked very hard to narrow that gap, but they were really fast on the straights and that’s ultimately where we lost a lot of the time today.”

“Our car felt okay today; I think this track has never particularly suited our car in the past for whatever reason, but I think we got it into a quite good place today, so hopefully it feels good tomorrow as well.”

“It will be a very hard race, physically challenging and tough on the tyres, but our race pace was good last year, so I’m hopeful it will be good again this year.”

“I love that it’s a close and exciting battle, that’s really how it should be.”


Valtteri Bottas: “P4 is not a very satisfying result, but it’s not a disaster either. I was only a few hundreds off of Lewis and I think Ferrari was just quicker today, so Pole was probably out of reach for us today.”

“Ferrari showed strong pace throughout the weekend, but it didn’t really come as a surprise; they clearly found the solution to the issues they had in Melbourne.”

“We made some good steps forward over the weekend, but they kept the upper hand. However, it’s the race that matters.”

“Our race pace looked quite strong and I think we’re there or thereabout when it comes to the tyres, so the race should be exciting – I think we’re going to be in the fight tomorrow.”

Toto Wolff – Team Principal

Toto Wolff: “P3 and P4 is a bit disappointing, but not surprising after the Free Practice sessions this weekend; we were not fast enough to fight for pole today.”

“Ferrari have been quick all weekend so we knew it was not going to be easy and that was how it turned out. We are lacking in straight-line speed compared to them at this circuit, so we have to dig deep and analyse the cause.”

“We start tomorrow’s race from the second row and we think it will be a close fight; our long-run pace looked reasonable yesterday and the tyre management will be key to tomorrow’s result.”

RED BULL RACING – Qualifying Team Talk 2019 Bahrain Grand Prix


Max Verstappen: “We have been struggling with the balance of the car this weekend, especially with switching on the softest tyre.”

“In qualifying I had a lot of oversteer and the car was sliding when I put the power down, which made it difficult to anticipate what to do in terms of balance and how to approach the corners.”

“My single lap in Q3 was an all or nothing lap and I don’t think I left anything on the table. I am of course not happy to be behind Ferrari and Mercedes, but I’m almost pleased to be fifth, because after Q1 and Q2 it looked like we may not be fighting for that.”

“It will be interesting tomorrow and in the race we should be more competitive as our longer runs on the medium tyre have shown good performance so far this weekend.”

Pierre Gasly: “For sure it was not an ideal qualifying and since the beginning of the weekend we have struggled, especially with the rear of the car.”

“We already tried to improve it, but I haven’t had a good feeling with it, and when it’s as tight as today I think we missed out by about six hundredths. It is really important to put everything together but it just didn’t happen today.”

“The car has potential so we just need to find the direction to get the best out of it and this is a track where we can recover. We will push tomorrow massively, we want to score points and clearly get a better result than this.”

“I saw that Charles achieved his first pole position today, he deserves this as he was fast all weekend, so congratulations to him.”

Christian Horner – Team Principal


“It was a very difficult qualifying for us. We have struggled on the C3 tyre all weekend which both drivers found tough to manage in qualifying.”

“Pierre was unable to progress past Q2 and will start the race form 13th tomorrow. Max managed to extract every ounce of performance from the car on his single run in Q3 to qualify in fifth.”

“We have shown much better pace on the medium compound tyre and hopefully we will be able to make good use of that tomorrow at a track you can certainly overtake on.”

RENAULT – Qualifying Team Talk 2019 Bahrain Grand Prix


Nico Hulkenberg: “We unfortunately suffered a couple of issues with the car at the worst possible time during qualifying. We lost performance and there was no chance of fixing anything in a short amount of time.”

“We need to understand and fix these problems so they don’t happen again. I’ve felt good in the car all weekend, so it’s a shame to miss out on a top ten grid slot for the race.”

“Hopefully we can make something out of tomorrow, it’s going to be tough from so far back, but we’ll be giving it our best.”


Daniel Ricciardo: “Qualifying wasn’t perfect for us by any means, but it’s an improvement from where we’ve been so far this weekend. In the end we were closer to Q3 than we expected at the end of Friday.”

“We’re there or thereabouts and we know we have things to work on. I’m still learning to master this car, but I’m getting there each time I step into it. “

“We have a free choice of tyres for tomorrow’s race, which gives us some things to assess overnight on strategy. I’ll be aiming to get the most out of it, and taking a handful of points is certainly a possibility.”

MCLAREN – Qualifying Team Talk 2019 Bahrain Grand Prix


Carlos Sainz: “That was a good quali. I’m happy with how the session went and it’s a pity we missed out on P6 at the end. Nonetheless, I think we extracted everything from the car and P7 is a good starting position for the race.

“I really want to congratulate the whole team, here and back at the factory. Getting both cars in to Q3 shows their hard work over the winter is paying off. Everyone should be proud.”

“The job is not finished though, I want my first points of the season, so now it’s time to focus on the race. I think from P7 we have a good chance, so let’s go for it.”


Lando Norris: “Overall I thought [qualifying] was pretty good. My runs were okay in general although I made a couple of mistakes and don’t feel I did as good a job as in Australia.”

“I know the track here more and it’s not as technical but it’s easier to make smaller mistakes. I had a little under-rotation into Turn 10, not even a lock-up, but lost a little time.”

“It would have been nice to be alongside Carlos and it was close. I think he was only just over a tenth ahead, so I’m reasonably happy.”

“It’s obviously going to be difficult from P10. I don’t think these tyres are too bad but the guys behind have more choice to start on, so we’ll just have to see how it goes!”

ALFA ROMEO – Qualifying Team Talk 2019 Bahrain Grand Prix


Kimi Raikkonen: “We got the maximum out of our car today, and we are doing a good job.”

“The car feels good, but we can’t predict how the race will be tomorrow because we missed our second practice session yesterday and didn’t do any long runs.”

“The weather could take on a leading role in the race – I heard it will get windy, so we will see how that plays out.”


Antonio Giovinazzi: “It has not been an easy weekend until now. The second session would have been very important for us yesterday to see where we will stand in qualifying and the race.”

“We don’t really know what to expect from the race tomorrow. The conditions will be quite different to what we experienced in FP1 and FP3, so we will do our best to have a good race and fight our way forward in this tight midfield.”

Here are a few more photos from Qualifying today – you may be able to spot a special guest in the photo below!

Don’t forget, tomorrow you’ll be able to see live race updates and exclusive driver interviews so make sure you check back for all the latest.



The Formula 1 Girl 🙂

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