F1 drivers have a difficult task of driving a car at their edge and often struggle to connect their best sectors in one best lap – let’s take a look at who has done this in qualifying for 2018 Bahrain GP.

All F1 tracks are divided into three sectors and the time difference from their actual fastest lap and the fastest lap with the best sectors can tell us how well did the driver exploit the potential of the car.

Sebastian Vettel managed to string his best sectors in one lap in the last lap of the qualifying. Interestingly, he did the same when he won the pole position for the last time, in Mexico City in 2017.

If Raikkonen joined his best sectors, he still wouldn’t beat Vettel, but he would reduce his gap to 0.069 seconds. Bottas would still be faster than Hamilton, but with a minimum gain of one thousandths of a second compared to his real lap.

Hamilton could have been nearly one tenth faster merging his best sectors, and Ricciardo could be 0.165 seconds faster, though it would not have enabled him to threat Mercedes or Ferrari.

By combining their best sectors in one lap, Hulkenberg could get the most time out of all drivers, almost four tenths, suggesting he did not set a good lap and that he could have been sixth fastest and not eight fastest behind Gasly and Magnussen.

According to his words, Gasly drove the ‘qualifying round of life in F1’, which is also confirmed by the analysis of his sectors – the Frenchman, as well as Vettel, merged his best sectors into one lap that led him to sixth place.

Magnussen could also be one tenth quicker which would bring him in front of Gasly.

QUALIFYING ORDER WITH IDEAL LAPS

    Driver Team Gap Gain
1. 5 Sebastian Vettel 1:27.958
2. 7 Kimi Räikkönen 1:28.027 0.069 0.074
3. 77 Valtteri Bottas 1:28.123 0.165 0.001
4. 44 Lewis Hamilton 1:28.124 0.166 0.096
5. 3 Daniel Ricciardo 1:28.233 0.275 0.165
6. 27 Nico Hülkenberg 1:29.187 1.229 0.383
7. 20 Kevin Magnussen 1:29.246 1.288 0.112
8. 10 Pierre Gasly 1:29.329 1.371
9. 33 Max Verstappen 1:29.374 1.416
10. 55 Carlos Sainz 1:29.734 1.776 0.068
11. 31 Esteban Ocon 1:29.791 1.833 0.083
12. 11 Sergio Pérez 1:30.061 2.103 0.095
13. 28 Brendon Hartley 1:30.075 2.117 0.030
14. 14 Fernando Alonso 1:30.107 2.149 0.105
15. 2 S.Vandoorne 1:30.359 2.401 0.120
16. 8 Romain Grosjean 1:30.530 2.572
17. 9 Marcus Ericsson 1:30.842 2.884 0.221
18. 16 Charles Leclerc 1:31.143 3.185 0.277
19. 35 Sergey Sirotkin 1:31.348 3.390 0.066
20. 18 Lance Stroll 1:31.503 3.545

ACTUAL QUALIFYING RESULTS

Driver Team Time Gap
1. 5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:27.958
2. 7 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:28.101 0.143
3. 77 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:28.124 0.166
4. 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:28.220 0.262
5. 3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/TAG Heuer 1:28.398 0.440
6. 10 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso/Honda 1:29.329 1.371
7. 20 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 1:29.358 1.400
8. 27 Nico Hülkenberg Renault 1:29.570 1.612
9. 31 Esteban Ocon Force India/Mercedes 1:29.874 1.916
10. 55 Carlos Sainz Renault 1:29.986 2.028
11. 28 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso/Honda 1:30.105 2.147
12. 11 Sergio Pérez Force India/Mercedes 1:30.156 2.198
13. 14 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Renault 1:30.212 2.254
14. 2 S.Vandoorne McLaren/Renault 1:30.525 2.567
15. 33 Max Verstappen Red Bull/TAG Heuer
16. 8 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1:30.530 2.572
17. 9 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1:31.063 3.105
18. 35 Sergey Sirotkin Williams/Mercedes 1:31.414 3.456
19. 16 Charles Leclerc Sauber/Ferrari 1:31.420 3.462
20. 18 Lance Stroll Williams/Mercedes 1:31.503 3.545

BAHRAIN INTERNATIONAL CIRCUIT

Bahrain GP F1 2018 Circuit map new 100m extended DRS zone Photo FIA

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