Defending F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes took the pole position in qualifying for the Bahrain Grand Prix. The win by Hamilton temporarily disguised the controversial qualifying format which once again underperformed with most of the drivers opting to stay in the pits with still five minutes left in qualifying.,
As reported in The Guardian, Hamilton made a later charge and registered the fastest ever run in the history of the circuit. Teammate Nico Rosberg lines up alongside him with the Ferraris of Vettel and Raikkonen occupying the second row.
Coming in to his first run in Q3, Hamilton was only running fourth and even ran wide at the final corner. However, he put on a stunning lap of 1m29.43s to move up to the top spot and take his 51st career pole. Rosberg was leading the way when he made his second run but was still two tenths ahead of Vetterl who improved by over three tenths of a second on his second run. He was still, however, 0.077 seconds clear of Hamilton’s time.
The other drivers who qualified for Q3 had enough time to make single runs thanks to the new qualifying format in place. Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull finished fifth ahead of the Williams of Valtteri Bottas. In the fourth row are the second Williams of Felipe Massa and Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg.
Romain Grosjean of Haas F1 and Max Verstappen of Toro Rosso rounds out the top 10 finishers.
Despite finishing only third, four-time champion Sebastian Vettel was happy with his run. “I was very happy with the first attempt and the second attempt was more or less copy and paste, but that’s enough if they improve by five-tenths.” The German driver said.
“Step by step we’re getting there. It’s a long race and let’s see what happens tomorrow” Vettel added.
Meanwhile, the team bosses, the FIA, and other stakeholders will have a meeting Sunday to resolve the situation about the highly-criticized qualifying format.
Photo Courtesy: MTracey/Formula 1 Wikia.com