Max Verstappen gives freaky explanation for huge Bahrain qualifying crash

Max Verstappen gives freaky explanation for huge Bahrain qualifying crash

Raikkonen was a fraction quicker than Vettel as cooler temperatures and nightfall matched the conditions for Sunday evening's race.

The Red Bull driver took over as fastest man with 15 minutes of the 90 remaining and stayed on top three-tenths of a second clear of Finns Valtteri Bottas of Mercedes and Kimi Raikkonen of Ferrari.

Raikkonen was later investigated by race stewards for an unsafe vehicle release following a pitstop.

Verstappen is not ruling out recovering to fight for the podium and his confidence comes from the long-run pace Red Bull were able to display during the practice sessions on Friday and Saturday.

Red Bull was frequently adrift of the Mercedes/Ferrari axis across one-lap in 2017, and again Ricciardo was unable to live with the pace of its opponents, as he wound up fifth fastest. "Basically we were doing another lap to get the engine to learn a little bit more in order to optimise its settings".

Having set an initial time good enough for fourth in the first part of qualifying, Verstappen was looking to improve his time but instead found the wall. Hamilton was over a second off Ricciardo's lap and eight-tenths off the time set by Vettel in fourth. The defending F1 champion had a tricky first session, locking his tires and twice taking his Mercedes too wide on corners.

Verstappen's vehicle ground to a halt on the final strait, and his humiliation was complete when he had to push the Red Bull - with the help of the martials - back to the garage amid 30 degree heat in the Gulf desert.

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The spin, followed by a slide into the barrier in this instance, was Verstappen's second in as many weeks, as he spun his vehicle after sustaining damage to the floor in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.

"Not the amount of running I wanted but I think second practice was really decent in the long run", Verstappen said.

"It was not ideal to miss so much track time".

Fans will hope for a better spectacle than Australia, where the race was criticised for a lack of overtaking or exciting action.

Formula One published a five-point plan, outlining key initiatives put to teams ahead of opening practice for Sunday's Bahrain Grand Prix.

Hamilton blitzed the competition in Melbourne qualifying, but a team strategy error saw him beaten in the race by main title rival Sebastian Vettel.

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