Hamilton claims incredible pole in Bahrain

By Adam Tate, Managing Editor

1:29.493, the lap Lewis Hamilton put in to claim pole position today at Bahrain’s Sakhir circuit to beat team mate Nico Rosberg is the fastest lap ever recorded here.

Faster than the mighty V10 era cars, faster than the V8’s, faster than Mark Webber’s 2005 lap record of 1:29.527 set in a Williams with a roaring V10. Hamilton was thrilled with the time and called it “sexy.”

F1 might not have to change as much as they thought for 2017 to make the cars faster than they’ve been in years, because they already are.

After running wide and ruining his first Q3 lap, the pressure was on Hamilton as rivals Nico Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel kept lowering the top time around the Sakhir Circuit.

Vettel put in a flyer to drop his time to just a hair over 1:30, Rosberg put in one to hit 1:29.570 a time which he thought was good enough to claim pole, but then Hamilton put in the lap of the year thus far with his incredible 1:29.493.

Kimi Raikkonen will join Vettel in an all Ferrari second row and both are hoping for a start similar to Australia that saw them leave the Mercedes duo for dead.

Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo destroyed team mate Daniil Kvyat and claimed fifth on the grid to take the best of the rest honors. “It was a bit of a surprise, we even thought Q3 would have been a bit of a stretch.” said the smiling Aussie.

Williams Martini’s duo finally showed the pace of the FW38 by netting sixth and seventh. Valtteri Bottas beat team mate Felipe Massa by just two thousandths of a second!

Nico Hulkenberg took the final Q3 spot for Force India, just edging out Romain Grosjean in the Haas car, who took an excellent ninth to build off of the teams fairy tale start to the season.

Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz took 10th and 11th for Toro Rosso, the car clearly not as comfortable as it was at Albert Park.

Stoffel Vandoorne has had Fernando Alonso by his side the entire weekend with the veteran giving the rookie all the advice and help possible. Vandoorne must have taken it to heart, because having never been in the car before, he took to it like a duck to water and not only claimed 12th on the grid, but beat team mate Jenson Button by two places!

Renault’s Kevin Magnussen will bring up the year, forced to start from pit lane after failing to stop at the weigh bridge.

Qualifying Results

Pos Driver Team Time
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:29.493
2 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:29.570
3 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:30.012
4 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:30.244
5 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:30.854
6 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:31.153
7 Felipe Massa Williams 1:31.155
8 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:31.620
9 Romain Grosjean Haas 1:31.756
10 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso 1:31.722
11 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso 1:31.816
12 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren 1:31.934
13 Esteban Gutierrez Haas 1:31.945
14 Jenson Button McLaren 1:31.998
15 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull 1:32.241
16 Pascal Wehrlein Manor 1:32.806
17 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1:32.840
18 Sergio Perez McLaren 1:32.911
19 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1:33.438
20 Rio Haryanto Manor 1:34.190
21 Felipe Nasr Sauber 1:34.388
22 Kevin Magnussen Renault 1:33.181*

* Will start from pit lane after failing to stop at the weigh bridge

Image: Mercedes

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About

Associate Editor of Motorsports Tribune and jack of all trades, Adam is our resident Formula 1 expert. He has covered F1, IndyCar, WEC, IMSA, NASCAR, PWC and more. His work has been featured on multiple outlets including AutoWeek and Motorsport.com. A MT Co-founder, Adam has been with us since the beginning when he and Joey created Tribute Racing back in 2012. When not at the track or writing about cars, Adam can be found enjoying the Oregon back roads in his GTI.

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