Lewis Hamilton has taken pole position for Sunday’s Bahrain Grand Prix, breaking the lap record in the process.
During the first run, Hamilton made a costly mistake on his banker lap, as Nico Rosberg took provisional pole position. But next time out, the triple-world champion went nearly a second quicker with 1:29.493, upsetting teammate Nico Rosberg by nearly a tenth of a second.
Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen locked the second row of the grid for Ferrari, unable to challenge Mercedes for pole position.
Vettel set a time of 1:30.102, while Raikkonen was a further two tenths adrift with 1:30.244.
Daniel Ricciardo was in jubilant mood after qualifying his Red Bull in fifth place, ahead of the William pairing of Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa.
Nico Hulkenberg made into the final qualifying shootout after a late run in Q2. However, given the competition, the Force India driver was unable to progress any further than P8.
Romain Grosjean qualified a strong ninth for Haas, suggesting his pace in Australia might not be a fluke - or entirely down to the timely deployment of the safety car.
The Toro Rosso duo of Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz finished 10th and 11th respectively, ahead of Stoffel Vandoorne who outqualified McLaren teammate Jenson Button on his F1 debut. The two were separated by less than a tenth of a second and two positions, with Esteban Gutierrez sandwiched between the two black and red cars.
Pascal Wehrlein catapulted his Manor to Q2 while Force India’s Sergio Perez and the Renault of Jolyon Palmer became the biggest casualties of Q1
By Rachit Thukral