Bahrain Grand Prix Qualifying: It's a FERRARI front row

Max Verstappen's damaged Red Bull following a puncture

4:53PM Verstappen's damaged car a close-up Max Verstappen's damaged Red Bull following a puncture Credit SKY SPORTS F1

Kimi Raikkonen kept Ferrari at the top of the timesheets during final practice at the Bahrain Grand Prix as both Mercedes drivers struggled in the heat of the afternoon sun.

The two Ferrari men were comfortably clear by more than half a second of the two Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas and his team-mate, defending champion Lewis Hamilton.

Saturday's pole was the 51st of Vettel's career and third in Bahrain.

This setback follows Hamilton's bitter disappointment in Australia two weeks ago, when he led the season-opening grand prix from pole position only to finish second behind Vettel. I'll try and eke out every last bit of power and strength from this auto. Raikkonen (Ferrari), 3. Bottas (Mercedes), 4.

Lewis Hamilton, who travelled in to the weekend favorite for victory after noticed it sailed off by an illtimed digital safety vehicle two weeks ago at the season-opener at Melbourne, was just fourth fastest, 0.823 minutes away Raikkonen's most useful.

Hamilton finished fourth fastest and his five-place grid penalty means he will drop down to ninth.

"Tomorrow is the main thing and where we get the points or don't, we will see then". Our aim for qualifying is to be in Q3 - a target we missed in Australia - and we need to deliver and do a ideal lap, so that we can beat some of the cars in front of us.

Drivers must use gearboxes for six consecutive races before being allowed a new one.

He place him a whopping 0.525 seconds away from second-placed Max Verstappenalong with his RedBull team partner Daniel Ricciardo that a additional 0.059 seconds adrift in third. He span his vehicle after pushing too hard early on in Melbourne two weeks ago and finished sixth.

Out with him went Grosjean, Swede Marcus Ericsson in the second Sauber, Russian Sergey Sirotkin and his Williams team-mate Canadian teenager Lance Stroll, said the report.

Verstappen was automatically eliminated from the fight for the top 10, and a Dutch company made up both the racer "the McLaren" Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandorn, Brandon Hartley at Toro Rosso and Sergio Perez ("Force India)".

"Ultimately we need to have pace to win".

McLaren entered the season with high hopes after switching to Renault engines, following three troublesome seasons with Honda.

Toro Rosso rookie Pierre Gasly is next on the grid, promising an intriguing start to Sunday's race.

Hamilton expressed his annoyance over team radio as he came into the pit lane after P3, saying spectators got too close to his Mercedes. I was coming in at serious speed.

Hamilton's fourth in Q3 is his worst in Bahrain in the turbo hybrid era - he had previously never been lower than second in Sakhir.

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