Max Verstappen taunts Lewis Hamilton after securing second place at Bahrain GP qualifying

Max Verstappen taunted Lewis Hamilton after the Dutchman was asked if he was disappointed Mercedes were off the pace in Bahrain Grand Prix qualifying. The Red Bull star replied “very” at the end of his interview with David Coulthard before walking away. Verstappen also said the session was a bit “hit and miss” but said it was a “good start” to the new season after securing second place.

He added: “We have a good race car, which at the end of the day is the most important.

“Here you want to be good in qualifying of course but you also really want to make sure your car is working for the race, because the tyres are really struggling a lot more there and it’s a bit different to some other tracks.”

Verstappen will line up second on the grid after he failed to pip Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc on his final run. It means he will split both Ferrari’s with Carlos Sainz behind, while his Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez lines up fourth.

READ MORE: Charles Leclerc reacts to pipping Max Verstappen to pole in Bahrain

Sergio Perez said overall it was a ”good result as a team” and was “looking forward” to a fight tomorrow in the race. He added a podium “at least” is the goal as he aims to take the challenge to the Ferrari’s.

Verstappen’s comments came after Mercedes struggled in qualifying with Hamilton only good enough for fifth. George Russell was a lowly ninth on his Mercedes debut with the Alfa Romeo of Valtteri Bottas, the Haas of Kevin Magnussen and the Alpine of Fernando Alonso ahead of him. 

It comes after a poor weekend for the Silver Arrows who have struggled all weekend to match the pacesetters.

Meanwhile, Leclerc was delighted to get his season off to a rapid start.

He said: “It feels good. The last two years have been incredibly difficult for the team. We were quite hopeful that this new opportunity for us was an opportunity to be back in the front and I think we have worked extremely well as a team to find ourself again in a position to fight for better places.”

And his team-mate Sainz added: “There was an extra tenth that Charles managed to extract there at the end. I’m quite happy with the progress I’ve done throughout the weekend. To be even fighting for the pole position today was good news for me.

“I think Charles has been ahead the whole weekend and he deserved the pole position, and the team did such a great job.”