for full Qualifying results.
- 1:33.185 sees Rosberg on pole by over a quarter of a second
- Hamilton error on final run, Ricciardo third but will start 13th
- Vettel fails to make Q3
Nico Rosberg took pole position for the Bahrain Grand Prix following a mistake from team-mate Lewis Hamilton as Mercedes dominated once again.
Rosberg was over a quarter of a second quicker on Hamilton on the first runs, and when Hamilton locked up and ran wide at the start of his final lap Rosberg was able to abort his own attempt to save tyres as pole was secure. Daniel Ricciardo set the third fastest time but will start from 13th as a result of a 10-place grid penalty incurred at the Malaysian Grand Prix.
That penalty promotes Valtteri Bottas to third on the grid as Williams profited from a dry qualifying session for the first time, with Bottas edging out the impressive Sergio Perez who will start alongside him on row two. Kimi Raikkonen outqualified team-mate Fernando Alonso for the first time this season and will start fifth, while Alonso will start on row five alongside Sebastian Vettel who failed to make it in to Q3.
Vettel was the big casualty of Q2 as he dropped out in 11th place, losing out to Kimi Raikkonen by 0.06s as he complained of problems with the downshift on his second soft tyre run. He was just ahead of Nico Hulkenberg who surprisingly failed to progress despite Force India's strong pace throughout practice.
Both Williams cars set identical times in the second part of qualifying, while Rosberg set the pace; the first time he had been quicker than Hamilton all weekend.
The Mercedes pace was underlined by both cars making it through Q1 in the top ten on the medium tyre, while only Ricciardo didn't opt for softs and managed to progress in 14th. The end of the session came down to a straight fight between the two Lotus drivers, with Grosjean snatching a spot in Q2 away from Pastor Maldonado with his very last lap by just 0.009s.
Adrian Sutil dropped out behind Maldonado and will be subject to an investigation as he and Grosjean went wheel-to-wheel at the end of the session approaching the final corner, with the Sauber appearing to force the Lotus to the edge to the edge of the track.
The usual suspects of Caterham and Marussia make up the back two rows, but just three seconds covered the whole field in Q1 and Kamui Kobayashi was 0.4s away from a spot in Q2.