F1 2023
Round 1

Oracle Red Bull Racing dominates first row

bh Bahrain International Circuit

Round 1 of the season, Bahrain Grand Prix took place at Bahrain International Circuit. Max Verstappen of Oracle Red Bull Racing, supported by Honda as a Team Partner, took pole position and Sergio Perez was second, dominating the first row.

Oracle Red Bull Racing dominates first row

Scuderia AlphaTauri's Yuki Tsunoda will start tomorrow's race from 14th and rookie Nyck De Vries from 19th.

Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen 1
Oracle Red Bull Racing
I’m very happy to be on pole, it hasn’t been the easiest weekend so far as we’ve been struggling to find the right balance and I’ve been trying to find my rhythm. Overall, it was quite a good qualifying, we recovered well with the performance. It’s great for the whole Team to have a one-two start tomorrow, and to have Checo up there as well is really promising. A lot of things can happen during a race as we all know, but I’m looking forward to seeing what we can do out there on track as a Team.

Sergio Perez
Sergio Perez 11
Oracle Red Bull Racing
When you miss pole position by a tenth of a second you always think there is a bit more you could have given, that is only a braking zone or something. It was really close out there today, look at the competition from Q2 and Q3, if you didn’t get a perfect lap then you were P5. We made some compromises in qualifying for tomorrow’s race and hopefully that will pay off so we can have a very strong race car. I am more comfortable with the car; the rear end of this car is a bit more planted, so I am able to work with it a little better so that’s a positive for me. I think Ferrari will be in the mix for the race, along with Aston Martin and Mercedes. We hadn’t seen this kind of pace from Ferrari until today, so I think they have been hiding quite a bit. If Charles was to do his final run, he would have been in with a shot for pole position. I think managing the tyre degradation will be crucial tomorrow and it will be really important for us to concentrate on our own race.

Yuki Tsunoda
Yuki Tsunoda 22
Scuderia AlphaTauri
We didn’t expect to get into Q2, but getting through was very positive for myself and the team. Of course, I was frustrated we didn’t have new tyres for Q2, but we knew that was the plan from the beginning. We haven’t tested the long-runs in these conditions, but we’ll dig through the data extensively tonight to be able to build the strongest possible car going into tomorrow, especially in terms of finding grip. At the same time, I am happy with my performance today, but ultimately tomorrow is when it counts. We are aiming for points, and we know it won’t be the easiest race from what we have learnt from testing last week, but anything can happen.

Nyck De Vries
Nyck De Vries 21
Scuderia AlphaTauri
We would’ve liked to qualify higher today, but I didn’t have the tyres in the correct window. The final lap in Q1 was crucial, but unfortunately, I lost the rear. Our long-run performance has been looking more promising than our short-run pace, so that should provide for more performance tomorrow. The midfield is tight and competitive, so we need to make sure we gain some positions. It will be challenge, but we have tonight to evaluate our data.

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