Sebastian Vettel will start Sunday’s Bahrain Grand Prix from pole position after leading Ferrari to a one-two finish in Formula 1 qualifying, with defending world champion Lewis Hamilton set to line up ninth on the grid.

Vettel went head-to-head with Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen in the battle for pole, bouncing back from a mistake on his first lap in Q3 to edge the Finn out by just 0.143 seconds at the chequered flag with a fastest time of 1:27.958.

The result marked Vettel’s 51st career pole position and his first since last year’s Mexican Grand Prix, while Raikkonen secured his first front row start in Bahrain.

Valtteri Bottas led Mercedes’ charge in third place, finishing just 0.013 seconds behind Raikkonen, with teammate Hamilton struggling to fourth after failing to improve on his second Q3 lap.

After being hit with a five-place grid penalty following a gearbox change, Hamilton will line up ninth on Sunday for Mercedes.

Daniel Ricciardo was the sole Red Bull to make it through to Q3, finishing fifth, four-tenths off Raikkonen at the front.

Pierre Gasly starred in qualifying for Toro Rosso as he led the midfield in sixth place, marking his best Saturday result yet in F1. The Frenchman will gain one more position thanks to Hamilton’s penalty, giving him fifth for the start in Bahrain.

Toro Rosso Teammate Brendon Hartley fell just one-tenth of a second shy of giving the team two cars starting in the top 10, finishing 11th after making a mistake at the final corner.

Kevin Magnussen will look to bounce back from his Australia disappointment from P6 on the grid on Sunday, having qualified seventh, with Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg finishing two-tenths of second behind in P8. Esteban Ocon took ninth for Force India as Carlos Sainz Jr. rounded out the top 10 in the second Renault.

Sergio Perez was unable to match Force India teammate Esteban Ocon for pace, finishing 12th, while McLaren came back down to earth with a bump after impressing in Australia as both Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne were eliminated in Q2, qualifying 13th and 14th respectively.

Max Verstappen will start P15 at best on Sunday after crashing out of Q1 at Turn 3, spinning into the barrier when putting the power down through teh right-hand kink. The Dutchman was left fuming over the radio after his mistake, and while he was able to make it through to Q2 as he had already set a fast time, he is still left facing a fightback from down the grid on Sunday.

The resulting red flag resulted in a one-lap shootout to avoid elimination, with Alonso finishing on the bubble for McLaren in 15th. The Spaniard only advanced by virtue of setting his time before Romain Grosjean, who posted an identical lap to the thousandth that left him P16 and out of qualifying.

Marcus Ericsson finished half a second back from Grosjean in 17th for Sauber ahead of Williams' Sergey Sirotkin. Charles Leclerc missed out on a chance to improve his lap after a "stupid" spin at the final corner, leaving him four-tenths down on his Sauber teammate. Lance Stroll propped up the timesheets in the second Williams in P20.

F1 BAHRAIN GRAND PRIX - QUALIFYING RESULTS

 

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