Wehrlein welcomes Manor's Bahrain GP breakthrough but hoped for Q2

Manor Formula 1 rookie Pascal Wehrlein admits he was hoping to make it to the second phase of Bahrain Grand Prix qualifying

Wehrlein welcomes Manor's Bahrain GP breakthrough but hoped for Q2

Wehrlein was the star of Q1 on Saturday, improving on his second run to beat a looming elimination cut off and outqualify both Renault and Sauber drivers, Force India's Sergio Perez and his team-mate Rio Haryanto.

He will start the second race of his F1 career in 16th place, a standout across the squad's history in a dry session, but Wehrlein felt even more was possible.

"I was hoping to make Q2, to be honest," he said

"I knew that I would have a good car in qualifying and I felt much more confident with the engine.

"I just missed it by two tenths but even my position now, it feels like an amazing position to be in and to start the race.

"[The lap] was really on the limit but you always think you can find somewhere the two tenths you need.

"To be honest it was a really good lap."

Wehrlein was outqualified by Haryanto on their debuts in Australia a fortnight ago, but the German was 1.384 seconds clear in Bahrain.

He pointed to balance and tyre degradation issues in the season opener that Manor had now resolved.

"The weekend started already very differently to Melbourne," Wehrlein said.

"There, we had a few problems with the car and we couldn't solve them and that [today] feels more like the car I was used to having in Barcelona.

"We were very close to going to Q2 and I'm really happy with the day."

BOSS PLEASED WITH PROGRESS

In his second grand prix with Manor, racing director Dave Ryan said Wehrlein's qualifying performance highlights the progress the outfit is making.

"I was really pleased for the team," he said.

"We've come a long way since Melbourne.

"We did a good job in Melbourne but really it was our first race with all of the wobbles that go with it.

"To see the progress everyone's made in the garage, the way we're operating, the way the drivers are responding, is terrific."

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