Lewis Hamilton praised his team for a job well done and preparing the car after problematic pre-season testing, but says Max Verstappen was simply too fast today despite getting the most out of his Mercedes.

Hamilton was just 0.023 seconds slower than Verstappen after the first Q3 laps, and after completing his second fast lap he took the provisional pole.

But Verstappen drove a fantastic second lap and knocked down Hamilton’s best time for 0.388 seconds, winning first pole position in Bahrain and fourth in his F1 career.

“Congratulations to Max, he did such a great job,” Hamilton said.

“He was so fast in that last lap. I gave absolutely everything I had, but unfortunately it wasn’t good enough.”

“You can always do more, but it was the best I could do, that’s for sure. I got absolutely everything I could out of the car.”

“I think we did a really good job after testing. The guys from the factory did such an amazing job. And our aero analyst Kim gave us such great information to get the car where it needs to be to be closer to Red Bull.”

“Being so close, considering we’ve been this far in testing, is not bad.”

2021 Bahrain GP Verstappen and Hamilton after qualifying Photo Red Bull
Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton after qualifying for 2021 Bahrain GP (Photo: Red Bull)

Bottas was fourth after the first Q3 laps, behind Gasly in AlphaTauri, but took third place with a better second lap.

“It wasn’t bad, but obviously we’re not where we’d like to be,” said Bottas, who won his first pole position in Formula 1 in Bahrain in 2017.

“But at least I’m starting third and anything is possible in the race. Of course, we now have two cars to fight Max, but I’m sure we can work together and do something good.”

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