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

  1. skibomax (@skibomax) said on 5th April 2014, 18:04

    I think there is a safety issue about braking with the new hybrid power train systems. There have been at least three incidents where dangerous and erratic braking, way outside the drivers control has happened. There seems to be a less than seemless join between energy harvesting braking and conventional braking. Cars suddenly twitching sideways under braking for no driver related reason. If I’m right and this is the case then it is predictable that this issue will cause a nasty accident. (It nearly did at least once already with Kobayashi)

    • Dave (@raceprouk) said on 5th April 2014, 18:16

      Cars suddenly twitching sideways under braking for no driver related reason

      Are you sure it’s just down to energy harvesting? Rear grip can be lost for many reasons, not just energy harvesting.

    • TMF (@tmf42) said on 5th April 2014, 18:30

      had the same thought. The brake by wire isn’t as fool proof as conventional systems but I guess they just need time to work out all the kinks.

  2. Eggry (@eggry) said on 5th April 2014, 18:08

    Well, at least it was interesting session.

  3. Albert said on 5th April 2014, 18:09

    It seems it will be an interesting race. Rosberg against Hamilton and Alonso, Vettel and Hulkenberg close to eachother with the eye of the tiger after disappointing qualifyings.

    Should be fun enough.

  4. ME4ME (@me4me) said on 5th April 2014, 18:14

    In general i didn’t think qualifying was that exiting. Instead of all the helicopter shots id rather see more onboard footage. Now it looked rather slow, cars going out on track one at a time. None the less looking forward to tomorrow.

  5. Damonw said on 5th April 2014, 18:25

    On the timing app it said that Hamilton went out on a used set of Softs for his first run in Q3, is there any way of confirming this? I’ve tweeted Mercedes but doubt I’ll get a reply.

  6. Lars (@lars) said on 5th April 2014, 18:31

    I do not think McLaren is going as fast as they should. They should have at least one car in top 5 and both in top 7. I know Magnussen is a rookie but he can do better than he did i Q3.

  7. Martin (@aardvark) said on 5th April 2014, 18:33

    I think the qualifying podium needs a caption competition.

  8. Timothy Katz (@timothykatz) said on 5th April 2014, 18:35

    What are the Parc Fermé rules?
    Alonso says his car is losing power; are the team allowed to investigate and rectify the cause overnight?
    Similarly with Vettel; obviously he will have a five place drop if they change the gearbox, but are they allowed to investigate and replace anything outside the gearbox overnight while the car is in parc fermé?

  9. kpcart said on 5th April 2014, 18:43

    It was sad to see redbull use short gear ratios to try to keep on power with mercedes. This is the first year in oh so long where engine manufacturer dictates results. Redbull may have a better car then mercedes but are 1 second a lap slower. This is wrong, engine homogation should not be in place until there is parity in power, then the best team can win. What if redbull may well have developed the best car in the history of f1, but be barred from winning by the renault engine which in homologated form is 100hp down on mercs engine. I would be happy if they are underpowered and still be able to develop, like teams are able to develop their chasis. But 100hp… You can not make that up in chassis a gear ratios.

    • Robbie (@robbie) said on 5th April 2014, 19:12

      I think you might be overestimating how locked in the cars are due to homologation. All the add-on’s to the power units are not homologated so there is room for improvement in many ways. I highly doubt FIA/F1 would allow a team to lock itself into domination this way, let alone the teams never agreeing to that possibility, let alone they not be crying foul loudly and from the highest mountain by now if in fact the season is now pre-ordained.

      The standard response still applies when one team dominates…’It’s up to the other teams to compete.’ And understanding that homologation does not mean everything is now locked in place should lessen that concern.

    • evered7 (@evered7) said on 5th April 2014, 19:22

      Didn’t RB like it when they could use ‘Renault’ engines to blow into the diffuser for extra downforce? All the teams were given the same amount of time to develop the engines.

      Let’s just accept Merc did a good job at it along with their chassis. I don’t see other Merc teams beating RB to say it is only because of the engine.

  10. Michael Brown (@) said on 5th April 2014, 18:49

    Bahrain has brought the best out of the new cars so far. The cars are plenty fast around the track, even if their cornering speed is reduced.

    However with the fuel flow restriction in effect for the race, I see the cars lapping sluggishly like they have for the last two races.

  11. Aquataz said on 5th April 2014, 19:02

    Very good to see Checo show Quali form – best wishes for tomorrow.
    Good to see Gutierrez driving a couple solid spins

    • Lars (@lars) said on 6th April 2014, 10:38

      Impressive by Checo. If anyone thought that he would soon disappear from F1 after he was dumped by McLaren it looks like he might prove them wrong in 2014.

  12. Minardi (@gitanes) said on 5th April 2014, 19:23

    I wonder when the last time Vettel, Hamilton, Alonso, and Hulkenberg were all out-qualified by their teammates in the same session (regardless of the fact that Alonso had some obvious issues)

    • Lari (@lari) said on 5th April 2014, 19:59

      New winds are blowing and that’s great to see if you ask me :)

      • Lars (@lars) said on 6th April 2014, 10:48

        Agree. And on another note many of the new rulles are fine because they make F1 more relevant to the mainstream car industry which again impacts R&D funding for F1. The only two rules I really do not like is 1) the fuel flow limit and 2) the tight limit on ude of tires for a F1 weekend. It complicates F1 viewing in particular for other people than neirds like us, make it difficult to keep track of the situation during the race and reduces the speed.

  13. Irejag (@irejag) said on 6th April 2014, 0:13

    And everyone was tired of Red Bull dominance? Mercedes will have the season wrapped up in a nice bow before we even get to the summer break. Unless the Renault and Ferrari powered teams find a miracle.

    • Dr. Jekyll (@dr-jekyll) said on 6th April 2014, 8:54

      @irejag when we reach season 4 of the merc domination, then this sentiment is valid… (ehh maybe after season 2 hehe)

      For now, it’s a jump start to ONE season, and perhaps 1 title. We’ve yet to see if it’s a new “era of domination” or just a really impressive season from merc

  14. aaron said on 6th April 2014, 1:36

    Ric has been the stand out driver of the season so far IMO, he is really showing his critics that thought he didn’t the RB drive. sad to think that he should second in the drivers championship if it wasn’t for RB’s stuff ups. i really hope he gets a good run at it in china were the RB10 should be a bit stronger!

  15. Damonw said on 6th April 2014, 12:12

    Really poor performance by Hamilton, after the practice sessions it was looking like a demolition job, it was infact because Rosberg blew Hamilton away!

    If the car stays this dominant than Rosberg will be favourite for the title, he’s got the speed to beat Hamilton fair and square!

    • lebesset said on 6th April 2014, 15:47

      don’t think so …hamilton made a mistake in qually but look how much quicker he is than rosberg in section 2 ….expect him to be past in the first 4 laps

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