We are only two rounds in the entry set for 21-race season, but there are a few drivers who are under pressure to deliver in qualifying.
For all the races and won the pole position secured ahead of team mate over one lap remains one of the main motivations for drivers and offers one of the easiest ways to judge and compare performances.
So how about a look at the qualifying results and Saturday head-to-head ahead of the Chinese GP?
Qualifying live on Sky F1 from 7 a.m. Saturday, with expansion to 6 in the morning
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel made a perfect start to the season, when it comes to race wins and points – but that speed hasn’t always been there in qualifying. Kimi Raikkonen, who lost 15-5 in the last year, developed in Germany in the season-opening shootout in Australia and looked to have done so again in Bahrain, Vettel grabbed the pole.
It’s neck and neck for their rivals, too.
For Mercedes drivers contrast Saturday in Melbourne, with Lewis Hamilton sealing a lofty pole while Valtteri Bottas span into the barriers in the 3rd quarter. Finn returned for a second round, however, qualifying just ahead of his teammate in third, although Hamilton was aware that he had a five-place grid penalty.
In Red bull, Max Verstappen appeared to have a slight advantage over Daniel ricciardo, only for bugs to let him down. He qualified ahead of Australia in his home race, while he was on the way to do it again in Bahrain, but crashed his RB14 at the end of the 1st quarter.
Fernando Alonso beat Stoffel Vandorn 16-3 in qualifying last season and made another strong start in 2018. He maintains that McLaren battle 2-0, with Vandorn a little closer to his double title partner, although neither did 3K.
Nico Hulkenberg was also impressive. This is a big season for Carlos Sainz , as he looks to impress the “Red bull” on his Reno ‘loan’ but the Spaniard already 2-0 down and struggling to match Hulkenberg Saturday speed.
This whitewash is still on the Haas, too. Kevin Magnussen made like 3K sessions for 2018 one of surprise, and while Romain Grosjean was impressive in Australia, he’s not even out of Q1 in Bahrain.
Pierre Gasly can be made lap season for Toro Rosso in Bahrain, qualifying on the third row, but he was flat in the past in the opening shootout so even level with Brendon Hartley.
Sergio Perez and Esteban Windows are also level, with the Frenchman making up the deficit of Melbourne in the wilderness, making Q3 for force India team, which struggled to meet expectations.
It’s neck and neck woefully below par Williams, too. Lance stroll was beaten 17-2 Felipe Massa in his debut year, but made a good start against Sergey Sirotkin this season, only for the Russian to his leg in the Bahrain qualifying.
Charles Leclerc is another Rookie looking to impress this year, and are highly valued with a formula 2 victory and one Ferrari. He is 2-0 down to Marcus Ericsson, however, with the Swede and sealing of Sauber’s first points of the season in Bahrain.
What is the passing score?
|Ferrari||Sebastian Vettel||1-1||Kimi Raikkonen|
|Mercedes||Lewis Hamilton||1-1||Valtteri Bottas|
|Red Bull||Daniel Ricciardo||1-1||Max Verstappen|
|McLaren||Fernando Alonso||2-0||Stoffel Vandorn|
|Reno||Nico Hulkenberg||2-0||Carlos Sainz|
|Haas||Kevin Magnussen||2-0||Romain Grosjean|
|Toro Rosso||Pierre Gasly||1-1||Brendon Hartley|
|Force India||Sergio Perez||1-1||Esteban Windows|
|Williams||Lance Stroll||1-1||Sergey Sirotkin|
|Zauber||Marcus Ericsson||2-0||Charles Leclerc|
Will Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari to make it three wins in a row or maybe Mercedes and Red bull to answer in Shanghai? Watch the Chinese GP, exclusively live on this weekend’s F1. To Make Sky Sports F1.