Bahrain Grand Prix starting grid: Max Verstappen heads Red Bull 1-2, Mercedes with work to do

Thomas Maher
Red Bull's Max Verstappen on track at the Bahrain Grand Prix. Sakhir, March 2023. grid

Red Bull's Max Verstappen on track at the Bahrain Grand Prix. Sakhir, March 2023.

Max Verstappen will lead a Red Bull 1-2 off the start line for Sunday’s F1 season opener. Here’s the full starting grid for the 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix.

A dramatic qualifying hour on Saturday in Bahrain resulted in a very familiar name at the top when the chequered flag was dropped, as Max Verstappen romped to his 21st career pole position.

It was a dream start for Red Bull, with teammate Sergio Perez lining up alongside the Dutch driver to put the reigning Constructors’ Champions in the box seats for lights out on Sunday.

Behind them, the Red Bulls have to worry about the two Ferrari drivers, as Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz had the measure of the Friday pacesetter Fernando Alonso as the new Aston Martin driver finished a stellar fifth.

Mercedes will be looking to try making progress on Sunday, after a subdued qualifying. On a day when team boss Toto Wolff admitted that Mercedes’ car concept has been the wrong path of development, George Russell and Lewis Hamilton claimed sixth and seventh respectively, and were six-tenths off the leading pace.

The FIA have published the provisional starting grid for Sunday’s Bahrain Grand Prix which, at the time of publishing, shows no grid penalties have been applied.

Note: The below starting grid is now final and has been confirmed by the FIA ahead of the Grand Prix start.

What is the starting grid for the 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix?

1 Max Verstappen RED BULL
2 Sergio Perez RED BULL
3 Charles Leclerc FERRARI
4 Carlos Sainz FERRARI
5 Fernando Alonso ASTON MARTIN
6 George Russell MERCEDES
7 Lewis Hamilton MERCEDES
8 Lance Stroll ASTON MARTIN
9 Esteban Ocon ALPINE
10 Nico Hulkenberg HAAS
11 Lando Norris MCLAREN
12 Valtteri Bottas ALFA ROMEO
13 Zhou Guanyu ALFA ROMEO
14 Yuki Tsunoda ALPHATAURI
15 Alex Albon WILLIAMS
16 Logan Sargeant WILLIAMS
17 Kevin Magnussen HAAS
18 Oscar Piastri MCLAREN
19 Nyck de Vries ALPHATAURI
20 Pierre Gasly ALPINE