Rosberg turns tables on Hamilton for Bahrain pole

2014 Bahrain Grand Prix qualifying

Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg, Daniel Ricciardo, Bahrain International Circuit, 2014The momentum was with Lewis Hamilton going into qualifying for the Bahrain Grand Prix as he led all three practice sessions on the desert track.

But team mate Nico Rosberg beat him to pole position and will start first for the second year in a row in Bahrain. Mercedes locked out the front row for the first time the year.

Daniel Ricciardo took third for Red Bull but will be moved back due to his grid penalty.


Q1 was the first session of the weekend which did not end with both Mercedes drivers on top of the times. Nico Hulkenberg led the way for Force India, setting a 1’34.874.

But there was little doubt Mercedes were capable of going much quicker. Will most drivers used a set of the much faster soft tyres to reach Q2 the Mercedes pair only used the mediums.

So did Daniel Ricciardo, though unlike the silver cars he needed two runs to ensure he got through. Sebastian Vettel, however, was unable to beat the Mercedes drivers’ times even with the soft tyres.

Pastor Maldonado was knocked out in the final moments of the session by Romain Grosjean. Just nine-thousandths of a second separated the two Lotuses.

Drivers eliminated in Q1

17 Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 1’36.663
18 Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1’36.840
19 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 1’37.085
20 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1’37.310
21 Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1’37.875
22 Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1’37.913


All weekend long Rosberg had trailed Hamilton in every session. But he gave his team mate a wake-up call in second practice, heading the times with a 1’33.708, almost two-tenths of a second quicker than Hamilton.

The pair only needed to run once in Q2 – using the soft tyres they will start tomorrow’s race on.

Ricciardo was third-fastest for Red Bull but team mate Sebastian Vettel didn’t accompany him to the top-ten shoot out. The world champion had a gear shift problem on his first run which got worse before his second.

Vettel missed the last place in Q3 by six-hundredths of a second, losing out to Kimi Raikkonen. But the gap between the Williams drivers was even narrower – the pair set identical times to within a thousandth of a second.

Both Toro Rossos failed to make the cut and for the first time this year it was Sergio Perez,not Nico Hulkenberg, who reached the top ten shoot-out for Force India.

Drivers eliminated in Q2

11 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’34.985
12 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1’35.116
13 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1’35.145
14 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 1’35.286
15 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1’35.891
16 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1’35.908


Rosberg carried the momentum into Q3 and increased his margin over Hamilton with his first run. A 1’33.185 put him almost three-tenths of a second clear of his team mate, who ran wide at turn eight on his first run,

That left Hamilton with one chance to beat Rosberg to pole position. But his final effort went wrong at the first corner – he locked up at turn wide, ran onto the run-off, and Rosberg’s race engineer got on the radio to tell him pole position was his.

Mercedes have enjoyed an advantage of around a second over their rivals for most of the weekend, so it may have come as a surprise to find Ricciardo within seven-tenths of a second of them in third place. But his ten-place grid penalty from Malaysia guarantees he will start much further back.

Valtteri Bottas will be promoted in his place, the Williams driver finally delivering on the car’s potential in the fist dry qualifying session this year. Sergio Perez will be promoted alongside him on the second row.

The highest Ferrari on the grid belong to Kimi Raikkonen, who beat Jenson Button by less than two hundredths of a second.

The other Ferrari of Fernando Alonso ended the session tenth behind Massa and Magnussen.

Top ten in Q3

1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’33.185
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1’33.464
3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1’34.051
4 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1’34.247
5 Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1’34.346
6 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1’34.368
7 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’34.387
8 Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1’34.511
9 Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1’34.712
10 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’34.992

2014 Bahrain Grand Prix

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92 comments on Rosberg turns tables on Hamilton for Bahrain pole

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  1. Jonathan Tapia (@redsunsf1) said on 5th April 2014, 17:19

    Nice job Mercedes.

  2. AbeyG (@1abe) said on 5th April 2014, 17:23

    WTH Nico?? I put you for pole position in my predictions for the first two races but yo dont get it but when I put Hamilton for P1 in Bahrain yo get the pole position! Damn it! Great run BTW.

  3. Hamilfan (@hamilfan) said on 5th April 2014, 17:24

    Good job by Rosberg and especially :D.Ricciardo. What a drive by the RBR Aussie . As for Lewis :( .

  4. mnmracer (@mnmracer) said on 5th April 2014, 17:24

    Word has it Alonso was having some engine issues.

  5. OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 5th April 2014, 17:25

    At last Kimi!!! or was there any problem in Fernando’s car? I didn’t see the quali, I’m at work :P

  6. mnmracer (@mnmracer) said on 5th April 2014, 17:26

    The number of issues on the Red Bulls -especially Vettel’s car- is getting kind of ridiculous; reminiscent of 2010, but now with a much more matured driver, it will be interesting to see how it works out.

  7. In_Silico (@insilico) said on 5th April 2014, 17:27

    Raikkonen’s lap looked perfect from his onboard. Couldn’t have gone much quicker.

  8. (@akshay-it) said on 5th April 2014, 17:27

    Why does FI not give both drives 2 laps in end of Q2 on softer tyres???

  9. Diceman (@diceman) said on 5th April 2014, 17:36

    Well, as a Finn I’m pretty excited about tomorrow’s race. Hoping that Bottas will get the first podium of his career.

  10. erix said on 5th April 2014, 17:36

    Kimi only needs 3 races to beat Alonso, and remember Q1 Aussie he also only needed 1 lap and Alonso almost could not get trough. The rain saved Alonso for 2 races and I think someone will soon move to Mclaren.

    • There is no chance of that happening now Ron Dennis is back running things

      • toiago (@toiago) said on 5th April 2014, 23:39

        Ron has said that he’ll do anything he thinks necessary to lift his team and make it a frontrunner again. So if he feels that they need a first class driver and they find it in Alonso, I’m sure he’d do anything to get him, despite their clash back in 2007.

    • Dan said on 5th April 2014, 17:52

      Lol haha Kimi is awful he as been convincingly shown up in dry and wet. Alonso has far better pace. What makes me lol though is those sying it proves how great Alo is. I mean seriosuly Kimi was Gro whipping boy 2nd half of last year Kim is past it in his devolopement he peaked along time ago. FA would be WC if he drove the Lotus last few years else how can Gro be only guy keeping wit the Bulls its certainly not talent.

      • Balazsryche (@balazsryche) said on 5th April 2014, 18:29

        “FA would be WC if he drove the Lotus last few years”

        Just lol’d.

        • Dan said on 5th April 2014, 21:46

          Maybe for you it is or u telling me Alonso would not have been beating Rbull in Suzuka if he was in Lotus last year. I mean if Gro can stay close Alo would wipe floor. For the past few seasons F1 was alot about tyres i rest my case, who had best tyre wear?

      • avl0 said on 5th April 2014, 21:55

        so far it seems like bottas is faster than massa and was also faster slightly than maldonado. Maldonado is the same speed as grosjean. Considering that kimi was around about the same speed as grosjean we can establish a pecking order even without knowing the relative performance of alonso and kimi.

        bottas > kimi > grosjean > maldonado > massa

        I personally would put alonso after bottas in terms of qualifying pace so he and kimi should be fairly well matched in that respect.

    • Albert said on 5th April 2014, 18:13

      I think someone will soon move to Mclaren

      I wonder what is there for him to win though.

      Even at its best (2012) the McLaren was handicapped by its reliability and its pit organization.

      This year the McLaren is hardly much better than the Ferrari, if at all.

      As great a driver Alonso is, and for all the complains Ferrari gets, the hard truth is that Ferrari is the best Alonso can do given the circumstances.

    • Albert said on 5th April 2014, 18:16

      Kimi only needs 3 races to beat Alonso,

      Alonso had PU issues. As good as Raikkonen is, such a difference in comparison to the likes of Alonso could only have been due to mech. issues.

    • Dave (@raceprouk) said on 5th April 2014, 18:18

      @erix – You could at least try to hide your irrational hatred of Alonso for a change

    • kpcart said on 5th April 2014, 18:33

      @erix what is with your hate for alonso? Stop it

  11. You guys think Vettel will need a new gearbox or not?

    • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 5th April 2014, 17:45

      To be honest I think his issues weren’t that severe and his lap just generally wasn’t perfect. He should be good without having to change, but his ratios are worryingly short.

      • iAltair (@ialtair) said on 5th April 2014, 18:25

        It’s a potential gearbox change. He probably will get the 5 grid penalty.

      • TMF (@tmf42) said on 5th April 2014, 18:28

        @vettel1 – the ratios are fixed for the entire season – with the lack of power they have to run shorter gears anyway. But I guess they might use the joker to change ratios if Renault can catch up with the engine.

      • avl0 said on 5th April 2014, 21:58

        I think they’re running the short ratios to try and improve their acceleration to minimise the impact of their decreased engine power (so they only lack top speed and not acceleration too). I imagine when renault get their act together they’ll use their joker to change their ratios to something more sensible, probably in the fortnight between the monaco and canada races.

  12. djdaveyp85 (@djdaveyp87) said on 5th April 2014, 17:44

    Well done Nico

  13. Jack (@jmc200) said on 5th April 2014, 17:44

    It’s nice to see Caterham only two tenths of a Sauber, four off a Lotus. Not bad, considering the size of the team.

  14. Doug (@dmac1965) said on 5th April 2014, 17:50

    Red Bull really should have had Dan splitting the two Mercs at the top of the table in the first two races. I clearly point the finger at Red Bull for this not being the situation. I’m happy to see that not even Red Bull or Charlie Whiting can take the beaming happy smile from Dans face! And OH how I will relish every time that Dan wipes the smile off Sebs face. Dan is younger, fitter, faster, braver and more hungry. And he will do it again and again and again to Seb…but I could be wrong F1 fans

  15. Jason (@jason12) said on 5th April 2014, 17:54

    The headline author couldn’t contain his excitement on this result. ….. :D

    1st pole potential 1st DNF for Nico, as per Lewis this season.

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