Hamilton on top in Bahrain
Lewis Hamilton secured his fourth pole position in this season as he took a comfortable first place in Saturday’s qualifying for the 2015 Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix. However, Mercedes did not have things all their own way, with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel beating Nico Rosberg to second place.
Kimi Raikkonen was fourth, followed by the Williams of Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa. Seventh place went to Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo, with Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg, Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz and Lotus’ Romain Grosjean completing the top ten.
It was a session of mixed fortunes for McLaren, who made Q2 for the first time this season, with Fernando Alonso qualifying 12th. However, Jenson Button will start from the back of the grid after his Honda-powered car succumbed to technical issues early in Q1.
Eliminated along with Button in the first phase were Lotus’s Pastor Maldonado, Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat, and the Manor-Marussia duo of Will Stevens and Roberto Merhi who both comfortably met the Q1 107 percent requirement.
Hamilton dominated from the start of the qualifying with a lap of 1:33.928 in the first round, while Jenson Button failed to set a time after his McLaren failed again.
Reigning champion was even faster in Q2, with Raikkonen, Massa, Vettel and Rosberg behind him. In the last second of this round, Carlos Sainz bounced into final round leaving Perez just under the line.
Hamilton was quickest on his first run of the Q3, as Ricciardo used a set of fresh soft-compound Pirellis to grab a surprise second, but the Red Bull driver soon faded on the second runs. Vettel was only other driver who managed to make a lap under 1:33 and finished just behind Hamilton and in front of Rosberg.
Behind them, Raikkonen was fourth as Bottas and Massa wrapped up the third row for Williams. Ricciardo’s first-run time had been 1:33.850, but he trimmed that only slightly to 1:33.832 for seventh as Hulkenberg remarkably put his Force India into eighth. Sainz just failed to dislodge him, while Grosjean was close in his Lotus, but not enough fast to be better positioned than 10th.