F1 races 2022: Take a virtual lap ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix

Follow live coverage from Bahrain Grand Prix qualifying after Charles Leclerc stunned Max Verstappen to claim the opening pole position of the 2022 F1 season.

The Ferrari driver will start from the front for Sunday’s opening Grand Prix of the campaign with the 2021 world champion second. Leclerc’s teammate Carlos Sainz rounds out the top three with Sergio Perez of Red Bull fourth.

Lewis Hamilton, who has bemoaned Mercedes’ pace throughout pre-season, could only manage fifth with new teammate George Russell ninth, former teammate Valtteri Bottas squeezing himself in between them in sixth for Alfa Romeo.

Elsewhere, the FIA have finally released the findings of their report into the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the result of which saw Verstappen seal his world title back in December.

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Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc beats Max Verstappen to pole

Read the full report from qualifying in Bahrain:

Lawrence Ostlere19 March 2022 20:25

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FIA report confirms Verstappen’s world title win

Lawrence Ostlere19 March 2022 19:44

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Hamilton explains new look for 2022

Lewis Hamilton says he has changed the colour of his Formula 1 helmet as he wants to “show love for his beginnings”.

Hamilton usually wears a black and purple helmet when racing for Mercedes but the 2022 season will see him in yellow. The British driver will be hoping the new campaign brings him more than a new helmet as he is targeting a record eighth world championship.

“For this year’s helmet I wanted to show love to my beginnings,” he tweeted. “As much as I love purple and black, yellow is my history. I’m going into this season with the same dedication, drive, and passion I had way back in my karting days.”

Lewis Hamilton steps into his Mercedes

(Getty Images)

Lawrence Ostlere19 March 2022 19:13

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Perez to start fourth in Bahrain Grand Prix

Sergio Perez reacts to finish fourth in qualifying, behind the two Ferraris and his Red Bull teammate Verstappen:

“It would have been ideal to start P3, but overall it’s a good result as a team and we’re looking forward to a good fight tomorrow. [Ambition tomorrow is] to try to get in that podium and get a one-two for the team.”

Lawrence Ostlere19 March 2022 18:44

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Verstappen to start second in Sunday’s Bahrain Grand Prix race

Max Verstappen won’t start his title defence in pole position but he has reflected positively on the session.

He told Sky: “It was a good day overall. It was a good start to the new era.

“A few things to look into and try to do better for next time. You want to be good in qualifying but you want to make sure your tyres are working for the race.”

Verstappen on the Bahrain GP track

(AP)

Lawrence Ostlere19 March 2022 18:17

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Leclerc on pole: ‘The last few years have been difficult’

Charles Leclerc has pole at the first race of the season and he has reacted on the achievement.

“It feels good,” he told Sky. “The last few years have been difficult for the team.

“We have worked extremely well as a team to fight for better places. It has been a tricky qualifying session. I wasn’t completely happy with my session but I managed to get the lap.

“Testing was very useful. I’ve tried many different driving styles and I still need to find a perfect one.”

Lawrence Ostlere19 March 2022 17:58

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FIA report confirms Verstappen’s world title win

The sport’s governing body delivered its verdict 97 days after the contentious race.

In a statement, the FIA said: “The Race Director called the safety car back into the pit lane without it having completed an additional lap as required by the Formula One Sporting Regulations (Article 48.12).

“It was apparent from the analysis that there could be different interpretations of Article 48.12 and Article 48.13 of the Formula One Sporting Regulations, and that this likely contributed to the applied procedure.

“It was also considered that the decisions regarding the safety car at the end of the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix likely took into account previous discussions that made clear the Formula One Stakeholders (FIA, Formula One, teams and drivers) preference to end races under green flag racing conditions, rather than behind a safety car, when safe to do so.

“In combination with the objective to finish under green flag racing conditions applied throughout the 2021 season, the report finds that the race director was acting in good faith and to the best of his knowledge given the difficult circumstances, particularly acknowledging the significant time constraints for decisions to be made and the immense pressure being applied by the teams.

“The results of the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and the FIA Formula One World Championship are valid, final and cannot now be changed.

“The process of identifying lapped cars has up until now been a manual one and human error led to the fact that not all cars were allowed to un-lap themselves.”

Lawrence Ostlere19 March 2022 17:38

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FIA report confirms Verstappen’s world title win

The FIA’s report blamed “human error” for the unprecedented application of safety car rules which caused such a stir, effectively pinning responsibility on the since sacked race director Michael Masi, although it added that Masi acted “in good faith”.

Lawrence Ostlere19 March 2022 17:15

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Leclerc beats Verstappen to Bahrain GP pole

Read the full report from qualifying in Bahrain:

Lawrence Ostlere19 March 2022 16:55

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Magnussen returns to F1 with P7 in qualifying

Kevin Magnussen got a late call up to join Team Haas after Russian driver Nikita Mazepin was cut from the grid.

“I feel so unbelievably lucky to be in a good car in Formula ,” Magnussen said after finishing an impressive seventh in qualifying. “To start P7, if you can do that you’ve got to go for points [on Sunday]. The biggest concern is reliability but hopefully we can get there.”

Asked whether he was promised a fast car and the opportunity to compete at the front of the grid, Magnussen said: “Gunter [Steiner, Haas boss] said they think they have a decent car, but he didn’t promise anything. It’s just crazy.”

Kevin Magnussen was delighted with his return to F1

(REUTERS)

Lawrence Ostlere19 March 2022 16:40