Hamilton beats Vettel to Bahrain GP pole

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Lewis Hamilton beat Sebastian Vettel to take pole for the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Hamilton took the early advantage in the final shootout with a time of 1:33.522, while team-mate Nico Rosberg’s opening lap was only good enough for third.

Vettel snatched the top spot with his final flier, with Raikkonen slotting into second to make it a provisional all-Ferrari front row.

An improving Rosberg did enough to split the two Ferraris cars, but not enough to match Hamilton, who clocked a 1:32.571 to smash Vettel’s fastest lap by four tenths and secure his fourth pole of 2015, and first ever at the Bahrain circuit.

Rosberg was forced to settle for third in the sister Mercedes, and will be flanked on the second row by Raikkonen, the Finn unable to match his team-mate Vettel.

It will be an all Williams third row, with Valtteri Bottas ahead of Felipe Massa, while Danile Ricciardo was seventh for Red Bull.

Nico Hulkenberg secured Force India’s best starting position of the year in eighth, as Carlos Sainz Jr. and Romain Grosjean rounded out the top 10 for Toro Rosso and Lotus respectively.

Sergio Perez had to settle for 11th in the second Force India after narrowly missing out on a spot in the final shootout to Sainz, with the two Saubers of Felipe Nasr and Marcus Ericsson 12th and 13th respectively.

Fernando Alonso hauled the McLaren into Q2 for the first time this season in 14th, ahead of Toro Rosso rookie Max Verstappen.

Pastor Maldonado was 16th for Lotus after he encountered an engine problem, ahead of Daniil Kvyat, a high-profile dropout in the Red Bull.

Will Stevens beat Manor team-mate Roberto Merhi to 18th by over a second, while Jenson Button failed to set a time after stopping out on track in the opening stages in the McLaren.

Image courtesy of Daimler

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