Red Bull's Max Verstappen is confident he can have a good start on the hard tyre, despite being the only driver to do so within the top ten for tomorrow's 70th Anniversary Grand Prix.
Verstappen, who was edged out of fourth position by Racing Point reserve Nico Hulkenberg in the dying seconds of Q3, hopes he will have decent pace thanks to the tyre compounds being a step softer than what they were during last weekend's British Grand Prix.
"I just hope I can have a clean start on the hard tyre," Verstappen said.
"The hard tyre was last weekend's medium so I don't think it's going to be that bad compared to what [the other cars] are starting on.
"Of course you might lose a little bit on the initial launch but I think it's just going to be better for the first stint.
"It depends if there is going to be safety cars or not but we will just have to wait and see what other people are doing around me and if we can do a better job."
Verstappen also praised the qualifying effort of Hulkenberg, who returns to Racing Point this weekend to fill in for Sergio Perez.
Verstappen expressed his delight for Hulkenberg's result, saying it was proof that Hulkenberg should've been already on the grid at the end of the season, hoping that his good results will be enough to see him return to the F1 grid full-time next year.
"Yeah, they have been competitive the whole weekend already and I'm very happy for Nico," Verstappen explained.
"He should have been already on the grid normally and of course I hope this gives him a seat for next year."
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing