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Tydd ST Giles driver George Russell just misses out on Bahrain F1 pole

Mercedes new boy George Russell was edged out of pole position for Sunday's Sakhir Grand Prix by just 0.026 seconds by team-mate Valtteri Bottas today.

The Finn edged pole from Tydd St Giles driver Russell, driving for Mercedes for the first time as a stand-in for Lewis Hamilton, who has coronavirus.

Red Bull's Max Verstappen was just 0.03secs behind Russell in third place.

George Russell after qualifying today. (43421378)
George Russell after qualifying today. (43421378)

It was a highly impressive performance from former Wisbech Grammar School student Russell, who had set the pace in both practice sessions on Friday but fell back a little once running started on Saturday.

Bottas was 0.212secs quicker than Russell after the first runs in qualifying but the Finn failed to improve on his second run and Russell was able to run him close, but just miss out.

Russell, who topped both first and second practice sessions on Friday, told the BBC: "It has been incredibly intense, so much to learn, getting used to the car, seat, everything.

"It felt really alien to begin with. A different way of driving, trying to unlearn what I learnt at Williams and learn how to drive this car fast.

"I got a few things wrong in P3 and would have been happy just to get into Q3 at that stage, but got it all together in the Q3.

"Valtteri has pushed Lewis incredibly close over the years and to be this close behind Valtteri coming in with two days' prep, I'm delighted."

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