Hamilton strikes back to grab Bahrain Grand Prix pole

Bahrain GP 2016 pole

Defending champion Lewis Hamilton edged out his Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg to secure pole position, breaking the lap record at the Bahrain International Circuit in the process.

Ferrari was a keen competitor to the Silver Arrows in qualifying, unlike at the previous race in Melbourne when the team had to order their drivers not to take part as a way of conserving tyres.

Hamilton was only fourth fastest after running wide at the final corner on his first attempt in Q3, but he produced the fastest lap of the weekend so far – a time of one minute, 29.493 seconds – when it counted to take the 51st pole of his Formula 1 career.

Rosberg led the way following the first runs in Q3, just under two tenths clear of Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari. Rosberg improved by more than three tenths of a second on his second attempt, but Hamilton remained 0.077 seconds clear.

Bahrain GP 2016 qualifying

Vettel took third position, improving only slightly on his first Q3 effort, while team-mate Kimi Raikkonen dropped time in the first sector on his final lap so ended up fourth.

The rest of the Q3 runners only had sufficient time to complete single runs, thanks to the controversial elimination format being retained for the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Daniel Ricciardo’s Red Bull was best-of-the-rest, nearly three tenths clear of the Williams of Valtteri Bottas.

Felipe Massa was just 0.002 seconds down in seventh, while Nico Hulkenberg’s Force India completed the top eight.

Romain Grosjean’s Haas and the Toro Rossos of Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz Jr all paid the price for staying in the pits after making single runs in Q2.

Hulkenberg was the only driver to attempt two runs in this segment and his second flying lap was enough to lift him to eighth position and knock Grosjean out of the final Q3 spot.

The lack of effort to return to the track despite having time to do so suggested Haas and Toro Rosso strategically preferred free choice of tyres for the race start, rather than higher grid positions.

Less than three tenths of a second covered Grosjean in ninth to Jenson Button in P14.

Verstappen and Sainz ended up P10 and P11, ahead of McLaren-Honda rookie Stoffel Vandoorne – who outqualified team-mate Button on his Formula 1 debut – and the Haas of Esteban Gutierrez and Button.

Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat endured another disappointing qualifying session, ending up P15 in a car comfortably quick enough for Q3.

Sergio Perez and the works Renaults of Kevin Magnussen and Jolyon Palmer dropped out in Q1, along with both Manors and Saubers.

Perez only had time for one run, which proved insufficient to make the cut as others improved.

Pascal Wehrlein was the star of qualifying and was able to place his Manor-Mercedes in P16 with a last-gasp effort. Great achievement considering the DTM champion was less than three tenths shy of being good enough for Q2.

Marcus Ericsson’s Sauber was 0.034 seconds slower in P17, ahead of Perez, Magnussen (who will start from the pitlane after missing the weighbridge in practice) and Palmer.

Rio Haryanto’s Manor and Felipe Nasr’s Sauber propped up the timesheet.

Both were well adrift of the rest after completing solitary runs and had no time for a second effort.

Nasr’s lap was spoiled by a big lock-up under braking at Turn 1, so he ended up slowest.

The elimination qualifying was out in force for the second time despite unfavourable opinions from the drivers, team bosses and fans. The mixed up grid did not shuffle the pecking order and yet again Mercedes secured the front row.

Hopefully the sport’s rule makers can see this and reinstate the previous qualifying format. Seeing no cars on track as the minutes tick by brings no excitement, thrill or drama. For the television viewers and fans watching track side.

As for Lewis Hamilton, this 51st pole position is a grand achievement not only for the advancement in Formula 1 technology but the ability to fightback. Bring on the Bahrain Grand Prix and the duel in the desert.

Mercedes Bahrain GP 2016

Bahrain Grand Prix, qualifying positions:

1    Lewis Hamilton    Mercedes    1m29.493s
2    Nico Rosberg    Mercedes    1m29.570s
3    Sebastian Vettel    Ferrari    1m30.012s
4    Kimi Raikkonen    Ferrari    1m30.244s
5    Daniel Ricciardo    Red Bull-TAG Heuer    1m30.854s
6    Valtteri Bottas    Williams-Mercedes    1m31.153s
7    Felipe Massa    Williams-Mercedes    1m31.155s
8    Nico Hulkenberg    Force India-Mercedes    1m31.620s
9    Romain Grosjean    Haas-Ferrari    1m31.756s
10    Max Verstappen    Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1m31.772s
11    Carlos Sainz    Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1m31.816s
12    Stoffel Vandoorne    McLaren-Honda    1m31.934s
13    Esteban Gutierrez    Haas-Ferrari    1m31.945s
14    Jenson Button    McLaren-Honda    1m31.998s
15    Daniil Kvyat    Red Bull-TAG Heuer    1m32.241s
16    Pascal Wehrlein    Manor-Mercedes    1m32.806s
17    Marcus Ericsson    Sauber-Ferrari    1m32.840s
18    Sergio Perez    Force India-Mercedes    1m32.911s
19    Jolyon Palmer    Renault    1m33.438s
20    Rio Haryanto    Manor-Mercedes    1m34.190s
21    Felipe Nasr    Sauber-Ferrari    1m34.388s
22    Kevin Magnussen    Renault    1m33.181s

3 thoughts to “Hamilton strikes back to grab Bahrain Grand Prix pole”

  1. Mercedes will fervently hope for better starts than they managed in Melbourne, after Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg overcame Ferrari’s FP3 pace to take the front row of the grid for the second 2016 race in succession on Saturday. The red cars were still a major threat, however, setting up the prospect of a tough and tactical race tomorrow.

    Just 0.077s separated the Silver Arrows as Hamilton edged out Rosberg with the fastest ever lap around the Bahrain International Circuit, as the second and final Q3 runs came down to a straight fight with their Ferrari rivals.

    Daniel Ricciardo put Red Bull fifth, ahead of the Williams of Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas, and Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg, the final Q3 runner.

    Mercedes admitted that they had lacked pace in in the final practice session, but they ruled Q1 with Rosberg on 1m 31.325s from Hamilton on 1m 31.391s, on Pirelli’s supersoft rubber. Ricciardo jumped to third, ahead of Vettel, Bottas and Raikkonen, a hair over three-tenths covering all six.

    Pascal Wehrlein was the last of those to be eliminated in the opening phase, taking an excellent 16th for Manor with 1m 32.806s after increasing his pace at exactly the right moment, as Marcus Ericsson ran out of time in his Sauber for 17th on 1m 32.840s ahead of Sergio Perez’s Force India on 1m 32.911s, the Renaults of Kevin Magnussen and Jolyon Palmer on 1m 33.181s and 1m 33.438s, Rio Haryanto in the other Manor on 1m 34.190s and Felipe Nasr’s Sauber on 1m 34.388s.

    As darkness fell, Raikkonen led the two Mercedes out for Q2.

    This time it was ‘Hammer time’, as Hamilton was top dog for the first time in the weekend on 1m 30.039s. Vettel got closest with 1m 30.406s after Rosberg locked up on his way to 1m 30.535s and Raikkonen managed 1m 30.559s to head fellow Finn Bottas on 1m 30.995s.

    Daniil Kvyat was the first of those to be eliminated, with 1m 32.241s in his Red Bull. Then Jenson Button went, in 14th with 1m 31.998s for McLaren. Esteban Gutierrez’s 1m 31.945s left him 13th as Stoffel Vandoorne’s great F1 debut saw him outqualify Button with 1m 31.934s. Carlos Sainz and Max Verstappen were also out, with 1m 31.816s and 1m 31.772s, while the only excitement came when Nico Hulkenberg’s late 1m 31.604s run saw him jump up from 11th to push Romain Grosjean’s Haas out of a fairy tale position in Q3.

    So now it came down to Mercedes v Ferrari yet again, head-to-head for the pole. And this time it went down to the wire.

    Raikkonen set the ball rolling with 1m 30.244s, before Vettel improved that to 1m 30.065s. Hamilton’s first effort was spoiled when he ran wide exiting Turn 15, so 1m 30.627s left him vulnerable as Rosberg reeled off 1m 29.897s to take temporary pole. All four, however, went for second runs -the only Q3 runners to do so.

    This time Raikkonen came up short with 1m 30.397s but Hamilton nailed it with three purple sectors to jump from fourth and take pole with 1m 29.493s, Rosberg improving to 1m 29.570s to lock out the pole for the Silver Arrows even though Vettel also went quicker, with 1m 30.012s.

    Ricciardo was fifth with 1m 30.854s, leaving the Williams duo sixth and seventh with Bottas pipping Massa by two-thousandths of a second. Hulkenberg was eighth.

    Thus the provisional grid will line up: Hamilton, Rosberg; Vettel, Raikkonen; Ricciardo, Bottas; Massa, Hulkenberg; Grosjean, Verstappen; Sainz, Vandoorne; Gutierrez, Button; Kvyat, Wehrlein; Ericsson, Perez; Palmer, Haryanto; Nasr.

    Magnussen must start from the pit lane after missing a weight check in FP2.

    Source: Formula1.com

  2. Lewis Hamilton delivered when it mattered to snatch pole in Bahrain from Nico Rosberg, who hailed his rival’s ‘incredible’ lap.

    Nico Rosberg credited Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton for producing an “incredible” lap to deny him pole position at the Bahrain Grand Prix.

    The reigning world champion was in danger of starting from the second row of the grid after running wide in his opening run in Q3 on Saturday.

    However, with time running out, Hamilton showed his class with a sensational run that saw him set a new lap record in Sakhir of one minute and 29.493 seconds.

    Although Rosberg – who had topped the standings – also improved on his initial time, the German was forced to settle for second place ahead of Ferrari drivers Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen.

    “My lap felt good and I was sure I was on pole. Lewis put in an incredible lap to beat me,” said Rosberg in the post-qualifying news conference.

    Rosberg remained upbeat as he looked ahead to Sunday’s race, having claimed victory from second on the grid in Australia last time out.

    “This track is where pole counts least, I think,” he added.

    “There are still a lot of opportunities.”

    Source: Yahoo Sport

  3. Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton was delighted to score his 51st pole in Formula 1 and has described that as a ‘sexy lap’ in Bahrain. Yahoo Sport has the news story.

    Lewis Hamilton credited a ‘sexy lap’ for his success in claiming pole for the Bahrain Grand Prix. ‘The car felt great,’ added the Briton.

    A jubilant Lewis Hamilton revelled in his “sexy lap” after securing pole position for the Bahrain Grand Prix with a record-breaking time.

    Having run wide in his first run during Q3, Hamilton came good when it mattered on Saturday, stopping the clock at one minute and 29.493 seconds to climb up from fourth and pip Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg to top spot.

    Hamilton’s stunning pole-winning lap was the fastest recorded in Sakhir and the reigning world champion showed his delight over team radio, exclaiming: “That was a good lap, a sexy lap!”

    In a subsequent news conference, the Briton expressed further joy at putting things together at the crucial moment.

    “It’s not been a smooth sailing weekend in terms of pace, Nico has been on it all weekend,” said Hamilton.

    “I was generally struggling to put laps together and luckily the one lap I did put together was the last one.

    “The car felt great. It’s incredible to think we are quicker than the V10 days. It shows how far the technolology has come.”

    Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, who had been quickest in final practice, also took satisfaction from claiming third spot on the grid behind the two Mercedes.

    “Very happy today,” said the German. “There isn’t one place on the track where the car doesn’t feel right.

    “We know we are not yet where we want to be, but step by step we are getting there.

    “We will push them [Hamilton and Rosberg] very hard [in the race].”

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