Mercedes AMG’s Nico Rosberg stormed to pole in the sands of Bahrain to claim his first, but the teams third, pole position start of the season.
Setting a time of 1:33.185, Rosberg was more than a quarter of a second faster than team mate Lewis Hamilton who made a mistake on both his flying laps to only secure a time of 1:33.464 – but that was enough to beat Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo who has a ten place grid penalty from Malaysia.
In fourth place, and finally showing some of the potential of the Williams Martini Racing car, was Valtteri Bottas who finished almost exactly a second back following a good run in the Mercedes powered car. With Ricciardo’s penalty he will move up to third on tomorrow’s grid.
It was a poor day for other Renault powered cars as well as Ricciardo, as his team mate Sebastian Vettel had to settle for 11th place after complaints about downshifting in his F1 car.
Woes were also continuing for Lotus who saw their F1 chargers fail to show their true potential with Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado starting 16th and 17th respectively.
Also of note was the so-so qualifying for Ferrari and McLaren. Whilst both teams got both cars in the top ten, they were quite far off Rosberg’s pace with McLaren scoring seventh and ninth for Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen with Ferrari getting sixth and tenth for Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso.