Merc star edged ahead of team-mate Hamilton, with Ferrari’s Sebastien Vettel coming in third
VALTTERI BOTTAS showed he is not going to be a pushover after taking pole position for the Bahrain Grand Prix.
The Finn, who replaced Nico Rosberg in the winter, took the first pole of his career with a sensational lap.
Bottas, who made a mistake in China when he spun behind the safety car, denied his team-mate Lewis Hamilton, who had to settle for second.
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Hamilton, who was gunning for his seventh consecutive pole, looked to have done enough after taking provisional front spot.
But Bottas blasted back to make it Mercedes’ 48th front row lock out in F1.
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel was in third while Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo qualified in fourth. Kimi Raikkonen was fifth.
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Max Verstappen was sixth while Brit Jolyon Palmer will start in 10th place on the gird for tomorrow’s race.
However, there was more misery once again for McLaren as Fernando Alonso made it into Q2 but did not take part in the session, raising more questions about the reliability of his car.
His team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne did not even make it into Q2 as he was booted out at the first session.
There was also disappointment for Toro Rosso’s Carlo Sainz, who was flying until his car conked out, forcing him out at the first hurdle.
Force India’s Sergio Perez, Kevin Magnussen from Haas and Marcus Ericsson, Sauber, were also eliminated from Q1.