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Bahrain 2014: Final qualifying update

2014-04-05 18:36

ROSBERG ON POLE FOR BAHRAIN: It is Nico Rosberg's first pole since Monaco in May 2013 with a best lap of 1min33.185 under the Sakhir floodlights. Image: AFP


SAKHIR, Bahrain - Nico Rosberg planted his Mercedes on pole position on Saturday ahead of the Sunday’s floodlit 2014 Bahrain F1 GP after a last-lap error cost team mate Lewis Hamilton his chance of a qualifying hat trick.

Rosberg, the 2014 F1 championship leader, had been in Hamilton's shadow throughout practice but struck when it mattered to secure his first pole since Monaco in May 2013 with a best lap of 1min33.185.

Hamilton, who won in Malaysia he previous weekend and was chasing his third consecutive pole, had to settle for second on Sunday’s start grid.


Rosberg, who won the season-opening race in Australia in March and for whom Saturday’s success was his fifth pole, said later: “I have good memories of this track, winning the GP2 championship and starting my first race in F1. I enjoy coming here and, again today, it's suited me.

LATE FLASH: Sauber's Adrian Sutil has been relegated to the back of the Bahrain grid for forcing Romain Grosjean's Lotus off the road during qualifying. He also earned two licence penalty points.

“It's a different challenge awaiting us for the race. Tyre degradation may be the main problem but I'm confident. I had some good runs on Friday on high fuel so I'm confident that I can stay ahead in Sunday’s race."

Hamilton had been quickest in all three practice sessions, Rosberg second, but was trailing his team mate as he prepared for his final lap. He overcooked it, ran wide and fixed the front row there and then.

He said in the post-qualifying media conference: "You can't always get it right and congratulations to Nico. He did a great job; he's been improving and picking up his pace. He had a really good lap at the end.

"I made a mistake on my last lap, locked up and went straight on but generally I'm happy. I'm really proud of the team, for us to continue to keep moving forward and progressing as we are."

Australian Daniel Ricciardo was third-fastest for Red Bull but carries a 10-place grid penalty from Malaysia so Finland's Valtteri Bottas will move up to take the slot for Mercedes-powered Williams. The youngster had this to say:

"I'm really pleased with the performance. At the moment it's the best anyone else can do besides the two guys alongside me.”

Mexican Sergio Perez, who did not start in Malaysia thanks to a software glitch, will join him on the second row in his Mercedes-powered Force India.


Red Bull's four-times F1 champion Sebastian Vettel qualified 11th but will start 10th (because of Ricciardo’s penalty) after failing to make the final phase of qualifying for the second time in three races and complaining about gear shifts.

"They (Mercedes) are out of reach. This track suits them," he told BBC-TV. "I hope we can do a good job... and rescue some points this weekend. Things are going on in the background which haven't helped and we haven't done many laps here.”

A cryptic comment indeed...

Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen qualified sixth but moves up to fifth with McLaren's Jenson Button alongside and Brazilian Felipe Massa's Williams sharing the fourth row with McLaren's Danish rookie Kevin Magnussen.

Ferrari's Fernando Alonso qualified 10th.

Sunday's race will be the 10th Bahrain GP and will be raced in a day-into-night format for the first time.

Starting grid from the 2014 Bahrain F1 GP
1 Nico Rosberg (Germany) - Mercedes
2 Lewis Hamilton (Britain) - Mercedes
3 Valtteri Bottas (Finland) - Williams-Mercedes
4 Sergio Perez (Mexico) - Force India - Mercedes
5 Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) - Ferrari
6 Jenson Button (Britain) - McLaren
7 Felipe Massa (Brazil) - Williams-Mercedes
8 Kevin Magnussen (Denmark) - McLaren
9 Fernando Alonso (Spain) - Ferrari
10 Sebastian Vettel (Germany) - Red Bull - Renault
11 Nico Hulkenberg (Germany) - Force India - Mercedes
12 Daniil Kvyat (Russia) - Toro Rosso - Renault
13 Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) - Red Bull - Renault
14 Jean-Eric Vergne (France) - Toro Rosso - Renault
15 Esteban Gutierrez (Mexico) - Sauber - Ferrari
16 Romain Grosjean (France) - Lotus - Renault
17 Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) - Lotus - Renault
18 Kamui Kobayashi (Japan) - Caterham - Renault
19 Jules Bianchi (France) - Marussia - Ferrari
20 Marcus Ericsson (Sweden) - Caterham - Renault
21 Max Chilton (Britain) - Marussia - Ferrari
22 Adrian Sutil (Germany) - Sauber - Ferrari


Final qualifying
1 Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 1min33.185
2 Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes 1min33.464
3 Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Red Bull-Renault 1min34.051
4 Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Williams-Mercedes 1min34.247
5 Sergio Perez (Mexico) Force India-Mercedes 1min34.346
6 Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Ferrari 1min34.368
7 Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 1min34.387
8 Felipe Massa (Brazil) Williams-Mercedes 1min34.511
9 Kevin Magnussen (Denmark) McLaren 1min34.712
10 Fernando Alonso (Spain) Ferrari 1:34.992

Second qualifying
1 Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 1min33.708
2 Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes 1min33.872
3 Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Red Bull-Renault 1min34.592
4 Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 1min34.714
5 Fernando Alonso (Spain) Ferrari 1min34.723
6 Sergio Perez (Mexico) Force India-Mercedes 1min34.747
7 Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Williams-Mercedes 1min34.842
8 Felipe Massa (Brazil) Williams-Mercedes 1min34.842
9 Kevin Magnussen (Denmark) McLaren 1min34.904
10 Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Ferrari 1min34.925
11 Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Red Bull-Renault 1min34.985
12 Nico Hulkenberg (Germany) Force India-Mercedes 1min35.116
13 Daniil Kvyat (Russia) Toro Rosso-Renault 1min35.145
14 Jean-Eric Vergne (France) Toro Rosso-Renault 1min35.286
15 Esteban Gutierrez (Mexico) Sauber-Ferrari 1min35.891
16 Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus-Renault 1min35.908

First qualifying
1 Nico Hulkenberg (Germany) Force India-Mercedes 1min34.874
2 Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Williams-Mercedes 1min34.934
3 Sergio Perez (Mexico) Force India-Mercedes 1min34.998
4 Felipe Massa (Brazil) Williams-Mercedes 1min35.085
5 Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Ferrari 1min35.234
6 Fernando Alonso (Spain) Ferrari 1min35.251
7 Kevin Magnussen (Denmark) McLaren 1min35.288
8 Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes 1min35.323
9 Daniil Kvyat (Russia) Toro Rosso-Renault 1min35.395
10 Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 1min35.439
11 Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Red Bull-Renault 1min35.549
12 Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 1min35.699
13 Jean-Eric Vergne (France) Toro Rosso-Renault 1min35.815
14 Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Red Bull-Renault 1min36.220
15 Esteban Gutierrez (Mexico) Sauber-Ferrari 1min36.567
16 Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus-Renault 1min36.654
17 Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Lotus-Renault 1min36.663
18Adrian Sutil (Germany) Sauber-Ferrari 1min36.840
19 Kamui Kobayashi (Japan) Caterham-Renault 1min37.085
20 Jules Bianchi (France) Marussia-Ferrari 1min37.310
21 Marcus Ericsson (Sweden) Caterham-Renault 1min37.875
22 Max Chilton (Britain) Marussia-Ferrari 1min37.913

Stay with Wheels24 for the 2014 Bahrain GP this weekend.

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