F1 Sakhir GP Live Updates - final practice and qualifying

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By: Jake Boxall-Legge

Summary

Bottas takes pole position for the Sakhir GP, just 0.026s ahead of team-mate Russell on his Mercedes debut
Verstappen takes third, with Leclerc and Perez completing the top five
Drivers eliminated from Q2: Ocon, Albon, Vettel, Giovinazzi and Norris
Drivers eliminated from Q1: Magnussen, Latifi, Aitken, Raikkonen and Fittipaldi
Status: Stopped
18:21 That'll be all from us on Autosport Live tonight, but make sure to keep an eye on Autosport.com for all the reaction from Sakhir GP qualifying and of course. We'll be back tomorrow before the race from around 4:40 UK time - until then, have a pleasant evening. Goodnight!
18:18
 
18:18
 
18:12 Well, that was certainly an interesting qualifying session. A few obvious candidates spring to mind, but who was your star performer?
18:09
 
18:09
 
18:06 Kvyat will be delighted with sixth after a scruffy race last week ruined by that contact with Stroll. He just shades Ricciardo and Sainz, while Gasly and Stroll round out the top 10.
18:05 Behind Verstappen, Leclerc held on for a remarkable fourth, which equals his best grid position of the year from the British, Eifel and Portuguese GPs. Still an excellent effort to be so close to the Mercedes and almost two tenths up on Perez in fifth.
18:03 That said, you can expect Russell won't be especially delighted that his 100% qualifying record over his team-mate is now over. Chin up George, there's always Sunday...
18:02 That was a hugely significant test to Bottas's mettle, and he's come through unscathed - but Russell came closer than anyone might have expected him to. A superb debut qualifying performance in a Mercedes.
18:01 Verstappen also improves, just 0.056s off Bottas, but it's not enough to move onto the front row. It's a Mercedes 1-2, by the narrowest of margins!
18:01 Russell improves on a 53.403s but it's not enough to leapfrog his team-mate, just 0.026s between them!
18:00 Bottas goes out first for the final timed lap ahead of Russell, so the Brit will get a tow. Will it help him to score a remarkable first F1 pole?
17:59 Now here comes Verstappen, and the two Mercs. Leclerc is out of his car, so presumably is taking no further part in the session.
17:58 As it stands, Bottas would be on course for his 16th F1 pole - four years after scoring his maiden F1 pole in Bahrain in 2017. That would put him level with Stirling Moss - which is a stat you probably didn't expect to be reading today.
17:57 And now we wait to see whether Max Verstappen can respond. The Merc pair were the only cars on-track for that run - they have the luxury of being able to respond should they need to.
17:56 It's a Mercedes 1-2 currently, but not as we know it...
17:55 That's provisional pole for Bottas - a 53.377s puts him to top spot, as Russell moves into second on a 53.519s.
17:54 After a change of tyres, the Mercedes pair return to the track. Can Bottas dislodge Verstappen from pole?
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