Mar 04, 2023 at 6:30 PMUpdate: 8 hours ago
Nyck de Vries had already assumed that he would have a difficult qualification on Saturday. The Dutchman from AlphaTauri, who is driving his second Grand Prix this weekend, qualified penultimate.
“It was not unexpected that we would have a hard time,” said 28-year-old De Vries in the paddock of the Bahrain circuit. “That was also the reason why we went for three runs and used an extra set of tyres. We actually sacrificed Q2 that way.”
“The last run in qualifying like that is just crucial because the track is getting faster and faster and that’s where the difference is made. But I already started that lap with two moments and then I was behind the facts. The midfield is very close together, so I just fell out.”
De Vries, who made his Formula 1 debut with Williams last year, failed to improve his time on his third attempt and finished last. Because Pierre Gasly lost his time due to exceeding the track limits, the Dutchman moved up one place. De Vries’ teammate Yuki Tsunoda did get through Q1 and qualified fourteenth.
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‘Long run looked okay’
Despite his nineteenth starting position, De Vries is hopeful that he can drive a strong Grand Prix. “The race is of course a completely different scenario, because we are driving a heavy car.”
“It’s about the long run instead of a qualifying round. So we’ll have to wait and see for tomorrow. Yesterday it looked okay. But just like in qualifying, the midfield is so close together that it’s very easy to move from left to right. can go.”
Although he would have preferred to be further forward, De Vries was able to enjoy his first qualification for AlphaTauri. “I do what I prefer to do. On the other hand, we are of course here to do it as well as possible. And it is never good enough in that.”
Max Verstappen convincingly took pole for the first Grand Prix of the season, which starts at 4 p.m. (Dutch time) on Sunday. His teammate Sergio Pérez qualified second and Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc will start third.