Lewis Hamilton takes pole position for Bahrain GP

Lewis Hamilton takes pole position for Bahrain GP

3rd Apr 2016 12:48 pm

Lewis Hamilton edged out Mercedes Formula 1 team-mate Nico Rosberg to take pole position; produced the fastest lap of the weekend so far at 1m 29.493s

Lewis Hamilton edged out Mercedes Formula 1 team-mate Nico Rosberg to take pole position for the Bahrain Grand Prix, as Ferrari's challenge fizzled out late in the session.

Ferrari looked genuinely competitive in qualifying at Sakhir, and unlike at the previous race in Melbourne retained enough sets of super-soft tyres to attack Mercedes to the end of qualifying.

Hamilton was only fourth fastest after running wide at the final corner on his first run in Q3, but he produced the fastest lap of the weekend so far - a 1m 29.493s - when it counted to take the 51st pole of his F1 career.

Rosberg led the way following the first runs in Q3, just under two tenths clear of Sebastian Vettel's Ferrari. Rosberg improved by more than three tenths of a second on his second run, but Hamilton remained 0.077s clear.

Vettel took third, improving only fractionally on his first Q3 effort, while team-mate Kimi Raikkonen dropped time in the first sector on his final lap so wound up fourth.

The rest of the Q3 runners only had sufficient time to complete single runs, thanks to the controversial elimination format being retained for this race.

Daniel Ricciardo's Red Bull was best-of-the-rest, nearly three tenths clear of the Williams of Valtteri Bottas.

The second Williams of Felipe Massa was just 0.002s down in seventh, while Nico Hulkenberg's Force India completed the top eight.

Romain Grosjean's Haas and the two Toro Rossos of Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz Jr all paid the price for staying in the pits after making single runs in Q2.

Apart from the two Williams drivers, Hulkenberg was the only other driver to attempt two runs in this segment and his second flier was enough to lift him to eighth and knock Grosjean out of the final Q3 spot.

The lack of effort to return to the track despite having ample time to do so suggested Haas and Toro Rosso strategically preferred free choice of tyres for the race start, rather than higher grid positions.

Less than three tenths of a second blanketed Grosjean in ninth to Jenson Button in 14th.

Verstappen and Sainz ended up 10th and 11th, ahead of McLaren-Honda rookie Stoffel Vandoorne (who outqualified team-mate Button on his debut), the second Haas of Esteban Gutierrez and Button.

Red Bull's Daniil Kvyat endured another disappointing qualifying session, ending up 15th in a car comfortably quick enough for Q3.

The second Force India of Sergio Perez and the works Renaults of Kevin Magnussen and Jolyon Palmer dropped out in Q1, along with both Manors and both Saubers.

Perez only had time for one run, which proved insufficient to make the cut as others improved.

Pascal Wehrlein put his Manor-Mercedes 16th with a last-gasp effort, which fell less than three tenths shy of being good enough for Q2.

Marcus Ericsson's Sauber was 0.034s slower in 17th, ahead of Perez, Magnussen (who will start from the pitlane after missing the weighbridge in practice) and Palmer.

Rio Haryanto's Manor and Felipe Nasr's Sauber propped up the timesheet.

Both were well adrift of the rest after completing solitary runs and had no time for a second effort.

Nasr's lap was spoiled by a big lock-up under braking at Turn 1, so he ended up slowest.

QUALIFYING RESULTS
Pos           Driver                       Car                             Time                     Gap
1      Lewis Hamilton            Mercedes                    1m29.493s                  -
2      Nico Rosberg              Mercedes                    1m29.570s              0.077s
3      Sebastian Vettel          Ferrari                          1m30.012s              0.519s
4      Kimi Raikkonen           Ferrari                          1m30.244s              0.751s
5      Daniel Ricciardo         Red Bull/TAG Heuer    1m30.854s              1.361s
6      Valtteri Bottas             Williams/Mercedes       1m31.153s              1.660s
7      Felipe Massa              Williams/Mercedes       1m31.155s              1.662s
8      Nico Hulkenberg        Force India/Mercedes   1m31.620s              2.127s
9      Romain Grosjean       Haas/Ferrari                  1m31.756s                  -
10    Max Verstappen         Toro Rosso/Ferrari       1m31.772s                   -
11    Carlos Sainz               Toro Rosso/Ferrari       1m31.816s                   -
12    Stoffel Vandoorne       McLaren/Honda            1m31.934s                   -
13    Esteban Gutierre        Haas/Ferrari                  1m31.945s                  -
14    Jenson Button            McLaren/Honda            1m31.998s                   -
15    Daniil Kvyat                Red Bull/TAG Heuer     1m32.241s                   -
16    Pascal Wehrlein         Manor/Mercedes           1m32.806s                   -
17    Marcus Ericsson        Sauber/Ferrari               1m32.840s                   -
18    Sergio Perez               Force India/Mercedes   1m32.911s                   -
19    Jolyon Palmer             Renault                          1m33.438s                   -
20    Rio Haryanto               Manor/Mercedes           1m34.190s                  -
21    Felipe Nasr                 Sauber/Ferrari               1m34.388s                   -
22    Kevin Magnussen       Renault                          1m33.181s                   -

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