Nico Rosberg took his first pole position of the season in Bahrain with a laptime of 1'33.185, outqualifying his teammate Lewis Hamilton by three tenths off a second.
Lewis Hamilton had the upper edge over his German teammate throughout the weekend but Rosberg managed to get his nose ahead when it mattered, clinching his fifth career pole position in the process.
Daniel Ricciardo was the best of the rest, putting his Red Bull in third place, albeit with a time that was nine tenths off a second slower than Rosberg’s benchmark. He will drop down 10 places on the grid with the penalty that he carries from Malaysian Grand Prix weekend.
Valtteri Bottas edged out Force India’s Sergio Perez by just one-tenth off a second to take fourth place. However, after Ricciardo’s penalty, the Finn will start tomorrow's race in third place, his best starting position since Canada 2013.
Kimi Raikkonen managed to outqualify Fernando Alonso for the first time this season, clocking the Bahrain International Circuit in 1'34.368 to take sixth place, with Alonso languishing down in 10th. Update: Alonso revealed after qualifying that he was losing power throughout qualifying, thus providing a valid explanation to his poor grid slot.
Felipe Massa set identical times to younger teammate Valtteri Bottas in Q2, but was no match to him in Q3, ending the session down in eighth place.
Despite fears, both the McLarens made it into Q3 with the end result that Button qualified in seventh place and Magnussen two spots down in ninth.
Q2 brought two major shocks with world champion Sebastian Vettel and the highly rated Nico Hulkenberg failing to make the cut into the final part of qualifying. Vettel cited downshift issues for his poor performances while Hulkenberg just had a poor lap, locking his wheels on turn 10 before going over the kerbs at the following corner.
Both the Toro Rossos were eliminated in Q2 with Kvyat 13th fastest and Vergne 14th in the timesheets.
Sauber’s pace struggles continued at the Sakhir circui with Gutierrez only managing 15th place and Sutil not even making any further than Q1. Similarly, Grosjean in the Lotus was 16th fastest while Maldonado in the other E22 qualified in 17th place.
Kamui Kobayashi against proved his worth, leading the backmarkers race by three tenths off a second from Marussia’s Jules Bianchi. Marcus Ericsson was 21th fastest while Max Chilton ended dead last.