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What F1 GPS knowledge tells us about Pink Bull, Ferrari and Aston Martin

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And for good measure, the newest creation to come back out of Maranello excels in the exact same areas of the Sakhir circuit because the now-retired RB18. Imitation actually is the sincerest type of flattery. 

How Verstappen drew first blood 

Max Verstappen bagged his twenty first and newest pole place in Formulation 1 courtesy of a 1m29.708s effort. He pipped team-mate Sergio Perez by 0.138s as 2022 championship rival Charles Leclerc ranked third, 0.292s in arrears with a 1m30s {dead}. Twelve months beforehand, it was the Ferrari driver who edged forward, with Verstappen finishing the entrance row 0.123s down on Leclerc’s 1m30.558s.  

Again then, on the daybreak of a brand new ground-effects period, the RB18 was 10kg obese. In the meantime, the Ferrari was far kinder to the scales and its lighter weight was teamed with an pressing engine to supply class-leading acceleration out of the low pace corners. Now, although, it’s the RB19 that may’t be caught underneath preliminary energy, although Leclerc is faster to choose up the throttle out of the tight Flip 1 right-hander on their crucial Q3 laps.  

2023 F1 Bahrain GP qualifying GPS knowledge graphic

However Verstappen’s benefit is short-lived. Down the backstraight on the method to Flip 4, it’s the SF-23 that enjoys the superior prime pace as Leclerc hits 189mph earlier than stamping on the brakes. That compares favourably to his rival’s 187mph. Apparently, as soon as once more, the 2 vehicles are displaying the alternative traits as to how they carried out at this observe a yr in the past when the Pink Bull had the legs in a straight line.

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The RB19 seems to supply the superior downforce although as Verstappen is the faster by way of the right-hander after which the extra violent medium-speed Flip 7. However between these two bends, by way of the extra flowing center sector, Leclerc is setting the tempo. And so, the pattern is about for the rest of the lap. The Pink Bull accelerates higher than the Ferrari out of the circuit’s most recognisable nook, the tight, downhill left of Flip 10 earlier than carrying extra pace by way of the fifth-gear Flip 12 ascent.   

Verstappen continues to seek out the time by way of Flip 13 to offer him a superior run on to the penultimate straight. However the lower-drag Ferrari can solely be stored behind for thus lengthy. Leclerc is one other 2.5mph sooner into the ultimate braking zone. Of observe, he outperforms the Pink Bull by way of the apex (one facet that has carried over instantly from 2022) earlier than the Milton Keynes creation units the usual underneath acceleration. It’s not till the timing line that the Ferrari is ready to lastly match the Pink Bull’s pace at 182mph.  

What in regards to the ‘darkish horse’? 

Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin AMR23

Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin AMR23

Picture by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

The lower-speed prowess that contributes to Verstappen’s close to three-tenth benefit over Leclerc turns into extra attention-grabbing when Fernando Alonso’s earlier Q3 lap is overlaid. To this point 2023’s shock bundle, the Aston Martin impressed in testing and set the tempo in FP2 and FP3 earlier than slipping to fifth in qualifying, an eventual 0.628s adrift after Alonso ran out-of-sync by beginning his sole flier with virtually 5 full minutes of the highest 10 shootout remaining.

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The 2-time champion seems to be doing most of his heavy lifting on the brakes. He’s higher than each of Verstappen and Leclerc at getting the automotive stopped into Flip 1. Ditto for the extra substantial decelerations into Turns 8, 10 and 11. Having starred additionally on the lowest apex speeds, he appears to have entry to larger mechanical grip. 

But his AMR23 is the slowest of the trio on the straights. He’s almost 4mph down on the principle straight and for the run into Flip 11. Though he’s a match for the Pink Bull into the ultimate nook, he simply can’t fairly sustain for the sprint to the timing line, nonetheless, because the Aston is out of puff and 3mph in need of its rivals. 


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