Max Verstappen gives the thumbs up after taking pole

Max Verstappen has broken reigning champion Lewis Hamilton in the fight for pole position at the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.

Max Verstappen sits in his car with his visor open

After seven years of F1 domination, has Mercedes finally unveiled a car with a beatable weakness?

Thailand’s Alex Albon has been sidelined by Red Bull Racing in favour of Racing Point refugee Sergio Perez for the 2021 Formula One season.

Albon, after just two seasons in the premier class, will be kept on as test and reserve driver.

Red Bull Racing principal Christian Horner said the Thai would remain part of his squad’s preparation for major regulation changes in 2022.

The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was no classic, but it marked the end of an unlikely 2020 season.

Max Verstappen has ended his 2020 in style with an easy win in Abu Dhabi over Mercedes teammates Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton.

The Red Bull Racing driver had no trouble converting pole to victory, with his Mercedes rivals struggling through the race with detuned engines to compensate for reliability concerns.

An early safety car presented the Dutchman’s only hurdle, but one he nailed his restart from the struggling Mercedes duo he needed only manage his tyres over an elongated final stint to cruise to the finishing line for his second win of the season.

Max Verstappen has taken his first pole position of the season in a nailbiting qualifying hour for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The Dutchman swept to pole with a lap at the death to deprive the battling Mercedes drivers an easy run for the final race of the season, beating Valtteri Bottas by a slender 0.025 seconds and world champion Lewis Hamilton by 0.086 seconds.

It’s Verstappen first pole since last November’s Brazilian Grand Prix and the first pole of the year for a non-Mercedes-powered car.

Sergio Perez’s popular Sakhir victory only piled more pressure onto Red Bull Racing and the under-fire Alex Albon switch drivers in 2021.

Sergio Perez has come from last to first for a sensational comeback win and maiden Formula 1 victory after a Mercedes pit stop blunder cost it a comfortable one-two finish.

The Mexican was punted off the road by an errant Charles Leclerc on the first lap as they battled for third. The crash put the Ferrari driver out of the race and clamed Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen as collateral, but Perez was able to continue, albeit in last place after a pit stop to replace his damaged tyres.

But equipped with fresh rubber Perez made mincemeat of the midfield. He made up seven places in five laps and continued his rise back up to third, an easy pass on his own teammate underlining his ferocious personal pace.

Valtteri Bottas has pipped George Russell and Max Verstappen in a three-way fight for pole at the Sakhir Grand Prix.

Max Verstappen started the top-10 shootout as favourite with provisional pole, but the super-short circuit lent itself to three runs than the usual two, and Valtteri Bottas duly took back the initiative with his second lap.

But George Russell, standing in for Lewis Hamilton as the world champion recover from COVID-19, was the man making the biggest gains. The Williams driver has been improving session by session during his Mercedes loan and had just 0.142 seconds to close with his final tour to contend for pole.

Romain Grosjean’s survival from his horror fireball smash in Bahrain is all down to motorsport’s pursuit of excellence.

Lewis Hamilton has controlled the Bahrain Grand Prix after a fireball smash had Romain Grosjean sent to hospital and the race suspended on lap one.

Grosjean’s Haas car left the track at around 240 kilometres per hour after tangling with Daniil Kvyat at turn three and slammed into the steel barriers, breaking in two.

The front section of the car wedged itself among the rails and burst into flames, trapping the Frenchman inside for 20 seconds until he could undo his belts and climb from the burning wreckage.

Lewis Hamilton is on track to take a century of pole positions this season after recording his 98th qualifying triumph at the Bahrain Grand Prix.

The Mercedes driver set a new track record to beat teammate Valtteri Bottas to pole by 0.289 seconds for Mercedes’s 11th front row lockout of the year.

Hamilton already holds the record for most pole positions in Formula One, and with two rounds remining after this weekend’s race the Briton could raise the bar to 100 at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in a fortnight.

Lewis Hamilton has equalled Michael Schumacher’s seven-title record with one of his all-time great drives.

Lewis Hamilton has equalled Michael Schumacher’s record seven world championships with a masterclass of mixed-conditions racing at a thrilling Turkish Grand Prix.

The Briton had qualified sixth but only had to prevent teammate Valtteri Bottas from outscoring him by eight points to seal the deal with three rounds to spare.

In the end his finishing position mattered naught, with Bottas spinning out of the points at the very first corner in soaking wet conditions as he attempted to avoid friendly fire between the Renault drivers.

Lance Stroll has claimed his maiden Formula One pole position for the Racing Point team in a thrilling wet-weather qualifying session at the Turkish Grand Prix in Istanbul.

The 22-year-old Canadian staked his claim in enthralling fashion. Heavy rain stretched the session to more than two hours, and even as the weather cleared the standing water combined with the oily bitumen of the freshly laid Istanbul Park circuit to make the track extremely slippery and hard to judge from the cockpit.

Stroll is the first non-Mercedes driver to start from pole this season, with championship leader Lewis Hamilton and title contender Valtteri Bottas starting sixth and ninth respectively in a car that struggled in the conditions.

The Vietnamese Grand Prix is off the F1 calendar, but the sport still hopes to return to normality with its 2021 schedule.

No team has reigned over Formula One for as long as Mercedes, but all empires come to an end eventually.

Mercedes has won a record-breaking seventh consecutive constructors championship with a Lewis Hamilton-led one-two finish in Imola at the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix.

The German marque’s undefeated run since 2014 beats Ferrari’s previous record of six straight titles between 1999 and 2004.

Mercedes is also guaranteed a seventh straight drivers title, with only Valtteri Bottas in mathematical contention to catch points leader Hamilton with four rounds remaining.