Lewis Hamilton: “Ferrari will be really hard to beat in the race”


Lewis Hamilton continued his streak of pole positions this season in Bahrain, taking his fourth pole in four races, but his Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS team-mate Nico Rosberg was disappointed not to at least join him on the front row, instead ending third on the grid.

Hamilton was delighted to take his first pole position at the Bahrain International Circuit, and admitted he had come into this weekend hoping to master the track for the first time. He knows the race on Sunday will be difficult, especially with the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel alongside him on the grid, and hopes to make it three wins out of four this season.

“I’m very happy with pole position,” insisted Hamilton. “Coming into the weekend, the target was to master this track and get the car exactly how I wanted it here.

“I’ve been working hard to improve on every level and have tried to take a nice calm approach to each weekend. The car has felt how I wanted it to all weekend, so thank you to the team for achieving that; I’m so grateful to have this Mercedes beast underneath me.

“The laps felt great and I could really put the car right where I needed it through the corners. It’s great to have pole but Ferrari are very quick this weekend and they will be really hard to beat in the race.

“We’re in a good position with these grid slots but we’ll need to work hard to make the tyres perform in the right way tomorrow. I’m looking forward to an exciting race.”

Team-mate Rosberg was disappointed with third on the grid, and admitted he was focusing too much on Sunday’s race to get into a rhythm during qualifying. The German driver ended the session more than half a second adrift of Hamilton and behind Vettel’s Ferrari, and hopes to jump the Ferrari driver early.

“Today I thought too much about the race and that was a mistake, as I didn’t get into my rhythm for a perfect Qualifying,” said Rosberg. “So I cannot be happy with the outcome today.

“Starting behind Sebastian also is really not good. I underestimated him and now I need to make the best of this situation, so I will be pushing a lot in the race.

“I need to have a good start, hope I can catch Seb there and then I need to manage my tyres better than the others.”