Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc claimed pole position at the Bahrain Grand Prix on Saturday evening, with Red Bull's Max Verstappen second.
Verstappen was 0.129 seconds behind, and the success proved that the praise for the Italian side from the Austrian team, and Mercedes too, was well earned.
Third place was taken by champion Verstappen's teammate, Sergio Perez.
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Mercedes driver, former world champion Lewis Hamilton, took fifth place, with his teammate George Russell down in ninth place after he made an early error at the start of his final out-lap.
Hamilton and Russell had both acknowledged that the new car was struggling with the porpoising phenomenon. The former world champion predicted that any solutions would now be developed over the long term, and had already written off his chances of a win on Sunday.
New Alfa Romeo driver Valtteri Bottas made it his 102nd consecutive Q3 appearance, and finished sixth, just ahead of Kevin Magnussen. The returning Dane had problems for much of the session and came to a stop just after completing his final lap.
Experienced Alpine driver Fernando Alonso took eighth, and Alpha Tauri's Pierre Gasly closed out the top 10.
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1. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)
2. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) +0.123
3. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) +0.129
4. Sergio Perez (Red Bull) +0.363
5. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) +0.68
6. Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo) +1.002
7. Kevin Magnussen (Haas)
8. Fernando Alonso (Alpine) +1.637
9. 10George Russell (Mercedes) +1.658
10. Pierre Gasly (Alpha Tauri) +1.78
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