- Sep 26, 2010
Lewis Hamilton will start tomorrow's Bahrain Grand Prix from pole position after beating Sebastian Vettel to pole position by four tenths.
Hamilton well and truly dominated on the floodlit Bahrain Circuit after topping all three sessions on his way to pole, at times posting efforts a second quicker than his nearest rivals. Rosberg meanwhile seemed to have little in reply, whilst Vettel's heroics in FP3 this morning were nothing more than a distant memory
As the session kicked off the headwinds from FP3 down were the main straight, Raikkonen kicked off proceedings with a big lock up into turn 1, forcing the Finn the pit due to "large vibrations", whilst numerous other drivers also struggled to keep their cars under control in the gusty conditions.
The first to fall however was Jenson Button who's McLaren stopped for the third time this weekend before the former world champion could put a representative time meaning he will start tomorrow's race 20th. He was swiftly followed by the two Manor's with Will Stevens again taking the honours ahead of team.mate Robert Merhi, whilst Maldonado also bit the dust after suffering an engine problem limiting him to 16th place.
But the main culprit of Q1 was Daniil Kvyat who continues his difficult start to the season after out qualifying only the two Manors of those who set a time in the session.
As Q2 got underway Hamilton well and truly threw down the gauntlet after smashing Rosberg's first effort by 1.2 seconds whilst also becoming the first driver to dip into the 1:32s. As for their nearest challengers Raikkonen finally seemed to be getting the hang of his new Ferrari as tried to keep Hamilton humble in 2nd, albeit 8 tenths down on the Brit's effort. Vettel however pointed towards "drops in power" which hindered his one and only effort in Q2.
In the drop zone Alonso capped off an improved performance in 14th ahead of Verstappen. The two Saubers will start 12th and 13th with Nasr and Ericsson respectively, whilst Perez narrowly missed out on Q3 after a very late effort from Sainz Jr., which was half a second quicker than Verstappen's effort, dropped the Mexican out of the pole shootout.
But in Q3 unfortunately for the neutral it was business as usual. Hamilton secured a dominant pole position.
As it happen Vettel drew blood first with a mid 1:34 which Raikkonen was able to match, albeit a few thousandths quicker, before Ricciardo made us of his brand new tyres and dropped provisional pole in the 1:33s. But it wasn't long before Hamilton retook his place at the top with Rosberg failing to beat Ricciardo's effort.
As the checkered flag fell Ricciardo managed to slightly improve his time but the Ferrari's were busy lighting up the timing screens as Vettel split the Mercedes with Hamilton taking the spoils with Rosberg in 3rd.
Qualifying Official Results
1. Lewis Hamilton - Mercedes - 1:32.571
2. Sebastian Vettel - Ferrari - 1:32.982
3. Nico Rosberg - Mercedes - 1:33.129
4. Kimi Raikkonen - Ferrari - 1:33.227
5. Valtteri Bottas - Williams - 1:33.381
6. Felipe Massa -Williams - 1:33.744
7. Daniel Ricciardo - Red Bull - 1:33.832
8. Nico Hulkenberg - Force India - 1:34.450
9. Carlos Sainz Jr. - Toro Rosso - 1:34.462
10. Romain Grosjean - Lotus - 1:34.484
11. Sergio Perez - Force India - 1:34.704
12. Felipe Nasr - Sauber - 1:34.737
13. Marcus Ericsson - Sauber - 1:35.034
14. Fernando Alonso - McLaren - 1:35.039
15. Max Verstappen - Toro Rosso - 1:35.103
16. Pastor Maldonado - Lotus - 1:35.677
17. Daniil Kvyat - Red Bull - 1:35.800
18. Will Stevens - Manor - 1:38.713
19. Robert Merhi - Manor - 1:38.722
20. Jenson Button - McLaren - No Time Set