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.
|5||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull||1:30.854|
|8||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India||1:31.620|
|10||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso||1:31.722|
|11||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso||1:31.816|
|15||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull||1:32.241|
* Will start from pit lane after failing to stop at the weigh bridge