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Verstappen beats Leclerc in Bahrain for season’s first pole

SAKHIR, Bahrain: Red Bull’s reigning world champion Max Verstappen beat Charles Leclerc to the first pole position of the Formula One season on Friday despite his Ferrari rival setting the fastest lap in Bahrain Grand Prix qualifying.

The 26-year-old Dutch driver secured top spot on the grid with a one minute and 29.179 second lap in the final session of the qualifying hour.

Leclerc’s best lap, a 1:29.165, was quicker but the Monegasque set the time in qualifying’s second phase and was unable to repeat it in the top 10 shootout when it really mattered.

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