F1 Bahrain GP Live Updates - final practice and qualifying

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By: Jake Boxall-Legge

Summary

Hamilton leads Bottas in a Mercedes 1-2 in Bahrain GP qualifying
Verstappen's Red Bull is third, just a tenth behind Bottas
Albon completes all-Red Bull second row with Perez fifth for Racing Point
Q2 was red-flagged after Sainz's McLaren stopped on track
Eliminated after Q2: Vettel, Leclerc, Stroll, Russell, Sainz
Status: Stopped
15:29 While Hamilton will no doubt want to raise his figurative cricket bat in Abu Dhabi, he'll know the real prize is converting pole on Sunday. Can he make it a 95th career F1 win tomorrow? Check in with us to find out, with the Bahrain GP starting at 1410 GMT (1710 local time) - until then have a good one!
15:24 As pointed out by effectively everyone, Hamilton can reach a century of F1 poles this year if he repeats this afternoon's feat over the next two Saturdays. Pretty mental numbers when you think about it.
15:19 More from Hamilton on his pole lap: “The lap started well but a little bit of time was lost in Turn 1, Turn 6 I could have been a little bit better. Otherwise it was a very clean lap so I was really happy with it.”
15:18 Hamilton on his 98th F1 career pole: “I think with the pressure a little bit off it was a release to go and drive like that. I am on the ragged edge, naturally, and it is about trying to find that perfect balance and chipping away.”
15:15 Bottas on his deficit to Hamilton in qualifying: “It [the lap] felt good, that’s the problem, you feel you are extracting everything from the car so that is the most confusing part. It is small things here and there, not one clear corner.”
15:14 Verstappen on his P3: “My lap was pretty good just lacking a bit of rear grip in the low-speed corners but overall it was a decent qualifying. Let’s see how we get on in the race as it is very hard on tyres but I think we made a good compromise for that. I think they [Mercedes] picked up their pace today.”
15:12
 
15:11 Gasly takes eighth, with Norris splitting the AlphaTauris in ninth, as Kvyat completes the top 10.
15:11 It is an all Red Bull second row, with Albon taking fourth place with his final lap, to mark a solid recovery from his FP2 crash. Perez takes fifth for Racing Point ahead of Ricciardo and Ocon.
15:09 Bottas makes it up to second place but cannot beat his Mercedes team-mate, so it is Hamilton's pole for the keeping. The Finn's lap is 0.289s off Hamilton, but he does beat Verstappen who is shuffled down to third place.
15:08 ...Hamilton produces a 1m27.264s which is a new track record and provisional pole.
15:07 Hamilton goes purple in sectors one and two, this looks good for the F1 world champion...
15:05 Plenty of shiny softs on show as drivers return to the track for the final Q3 laps. Here we go.
15:03 Perez's early effort gives him the best of the rest tag in fourth place ahead of Gasly, Ocon, Albon, Norris, Kvyat and Ricciardo. All drivers are back in the garages for fresh tyres ahead of the second and final runs.
15:02 Hamilton takes provisional pole with a 1m27.677s, with Verstappen splitting the Mercedes pair in second place just 0.146s off Hamilton. Bottas in third is 0.244s off Hamilton's time.
15:00 Perez duly beats that with a 1m28.470s but here come the Mercedes pair and Verstappen...
14:59 First in the train is Norris who sets a 1m29.029s as the time to beat.
14:58 All 10 drivers out early doors for the first runs. These preparation out-laps will be crucial to get the soft tyres into the sweet spot.
14:56 Q3 is underway, 12 minutes to decide the starting order of the top 10.
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