Verstappen Explains Sudden 150 BHP Engine Boost That Caused Bahrain Qualifying Crash

Tyler Owen
April 9, 2018

Raikkonen and Vettel were up front in Friday's second practice as cooler temperatures and nightfall matched the conditions for Sunday evening's race.

Ricciardo expressed encouragement over Red Bull's race pace, as he prepares to start from the outside of the second row as a effect of Hamilton's five-place grid penalty.

Verstappen had just set set the fourth fastest time in the first round of qualifying when the accident happened.

"Although we were untroubled by any reliability issues, and we ran through our programme as expected, it wasn't our best day from a performance point of view", said Mercedes technical head James Allison.

In a boost for Ferrari, both Mercedes cars were more than half a second slower than the best lap set by Raikkonen.

Raikkonen was later investigated by race stewards for an unsafe vehicle release following a pitstop.

Daniel Ricciardo finished qualifying for the 2018 Bahrain Grand Prix frustrated after coming close to leading drivers' pace but ultimately ending up fifth. He escaped a grid penalty for Sunday's race and Ferrari was instead fined 5,000 euros ($6,100).

Clean sheet crucial for Reds and Oxlade-Chamberlain
He claims Oxlade-Chamberlain in particular has been impressive since quitting the Emirates. "It was an awesome atmosphere, the best I've ever played in", the 24-year-old said.

The Toro Rosso had looked quick over one lap all weekend, but such is the ferocious nature of the midfield battle that team mate Brendon Hartley missed out on a place in Q3 by just under 0.1s. Vettel was fourth and Hamilton fifth. The British driver had a tricky session, twice taking his Mercedes too wide on corners and finishing more than one second behind Ricciardo.

It was another blow for Verstappen, who spun his vehicle early into the season-opening Australian GP two weeks ago.

Verstappen's vehicle ground to a halt on the final strait, and his humiliation was complete when he had to push the Red Bull - with the help of the martials - back to the garage amid 30 degree heat in the Gulf desert.

The Dutch driver got out and helped stewards wheel the vehicle back to the team garage.

"Well I studied the data immediately when I came out of the vehicle because for me it was also a big surprise what happened", Verstappen said. With Bahraini ownership, McLaren had many of their key shareholders in their garage on Saturday but could only qualify 13th and 14th with Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne respectively. "I'll try to improve the feeling and balance to put myself in the best position possible".

Hamilton blitzed the competition in Melbourne qualifying, but a team strategy error saw him beaten in the race by main title rival Sebastian Vettel.

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