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Max Verstappen starts 2021 in pole position, ahead of Mercedes duo in Bahrain

Sports Desk, Mar 27 (efe-epa). Red Bull’s Max Verstappen will kick-off the 2021 Formula One season in pole position for the Bahrain Grand Prix.

The defending world champion, Lewis Hamilton will start from second on the grid followed by his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas.

“We had a great testing week but there are no guarantees it translates to race weekends. The car has been working really well and of course I’m happy with pole,” Verstappen told F1 media after qualifying. ”I’m looking forward to tomorrow. We need to get a clean start and take it from there.”

Hamilton, who is looking for a record-breaking eighth world title this year, said: “”I absolutely gave it everything I had, but unfortunately it wasn’t good enough. There’s always more, but it was the best I could do, I got everything I could from the car.”

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc will start in P4 followed by AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly and McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris.

Carlos Sainz Jr. will kick-off his first season with Ferrari in P8 ahead of fellow Spaniard Fernando Alonso, who is returning to the sport with Renault’s rebranded team Alpine after a two-year hiatus.

Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll completes the top 10.

Red Bull’s new signing Sergio Perez failed to make the cut and will start from P11.

The Bahrain Grand Prix gets underway at 4pm GMT on Sunday.EFE-EPA

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