Bahrain Grand Prix: Ferrari dominate qualifying; Lewis Hamilton starts from ninth

Formula 1
Sebastian Vettel: On pole in Bahrain
Sebastian Vettel: On pole in Bahrain

Lewis Hamilton will start the Bahrain Grand Prix from only ninth as his rival Sebastian Vettel stormed to pole position.

The grid

  1. Sebastian Vettel
  2. Kimi Raikkonen
  3. Valtteri Bottas
  4. Daniel Ricciardo

Scroll down for full qualifying times and starting grid

Qualifying in brief

Lewis Hamilton will start the Bahrain Grand Prix from only ninth as his rival Sebastian Vettel stormed to pole position.

Defending champion Hamilton has been off the pace all weekend and, while he posted the fourth quickest lap in a thrill-a-minute qualifying session, he will be shunted down the order following his penalty for a gearbox change and is 6/1 with Sky Bet.

Kimi Raikkonen joins Vettel at the sharp end as Ferrari secured a front-row lockout, with the Italian team laying down the championship gauntlet to Mercedes. Hamilton's Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas was third.

Vettel is 4/9 to make it two wins from two to start the season, with Raikkonen a 5/1 shot.

Full classification

  1. Sebastian Vettel (Ger) Ferrari 1min 27.958secs
  2. Kimi Raikkonen (Fin) Ferrari 1:28.101
  3. Valtteri Bottas (Fin) Mercedes GP 1:28.124

4 Lewis Hamilton (Gbr) Mercedes GP 1:28.220, 5 Daniel Ricciardo (Aus) Red Bull 1:28.398, 6 Pierre Gasly (Fra) Scuderia Toro Rosso 1:29.329, 7 Kevin Magnussen (Den) Haas F1 1:29.358, 8 Nico Hulkenberg (Ger) Renault 1:29.570, 9 Esteban Ocon (Fra) Force India 1:29.874, 10 Carlos Sainz (Spa) Renault 1:29.986, 11 Brendon Hartley (Nzl) Scuderia Toro Rosso 1:30.105, 12 Sergio Perez (Mex) Force India 1:30.156, 13 Fernando Alonso (Spa) McLaren 1:30.212, 14 Stoffel Vandoorne (Bel) McLaren 1:30.525, 15 Max Verstappen (Ned) Red Bull No Time, 16 Romain Grosjean (Fra) Haas F1 1:30.530, 17 Marcus Ericsson (Swe) Sauber-Ferrari 1:31.063, 18 Sergey Sirotkin (Rus) Williams 1:31.414, 19 Charles Leclerc (Mon) Sauber-Ferrari 1:31.420, 20 Lance Stroll (Can) Williams 1:31.503

  • Hamilton starts ninth due to five-place grid penalty

Qualifying report

Lewis Hamilton will start the Bahrain Grand Prix from only ninth as his rival Sebastian Vettel stormed to pole position.

Defending champion Hamilton has been off the pace all weekend and, while he posted the fourth quickest lap in a thrill-a-minute qualifying session, he will be shunted down the order following his penalty for a gearbox change.

Kimi Raikkonen joins Vettel at the sharp end as Ferrari secured a front-row lockout with the Italian team laying down the championship gauntlet to Mercedes. Hamilton's Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas was third.

Vettel was trailing Raikkonen following the opening runs in the desert, but the championship leader, who beat Hamilton at the opening race in Australia, delivered the goods when it mattered most.

Vettel finished 0.134seconds clear of Raikkonen, with Bottas marginally father back. Hamilton was 0.262secs down on Vettel's best lap.

"I was very happy that I got the second run and I got it clean," Vettel said. "The car has been excellent all weekend so far, so I am looking forward to the race.

"If the car is responding to what you want to do, it is a pleasure to drive, otherwise it is a fight. Australia was more of a fight, but we have improved here.

"I feel good now, but tomorrow is a different story and it is a long race, but the car is quick so that usually helps."

Daniel Ricciardo lines up in fifth for Red Bull, but his team-mate Max Verstappen - expected to be a contender for pole here - saw his ragged start to the new campaign continue after a 140mph shunt.

The 20-year-old, who spun in Melbourne a fortnight ago, lost control of his car on the exit of turn two, before sliding into the barrier on the opposing side of the circuit.

A handful of bleeped-out expletives ensued from underneath the furious Dutchman's helmet before revealing he was unhurt in the incident.

Indeed only his pride had taken a knock, as he stalked back to the paddock with his helmet still firmly on.

Verstappen did manage to complete a speedy lap before his crash, sparing him the indignity of propping up Sunday's grid. He will start 15th.

Ahead of Verstappen will be Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne.

This is effectively McLaren's second home race given their financial ties with the Bahraini royal family, but the guests which squeezed into the team's hospitality suite were provided with little fanfare as Alonso qualified a torrid 13th. Vandoorne was one place further back.

Their divorce from Honda power, and switch to Renault, was supposed to usher in a new dawn for Britain's most successful Formula One team, but their glories of yesteryear appear a distance memory.

Adding insult to injury, both of the Toro Rosso cars, now powered by Honda, will start ahead of Alonso and Vandoorne.

McLaren can take some comfort from their reserve driver Lando Norris's display earlier in Bahrain as he stormed to victory on his Formula Two debut.

But while Norris, the British teenager, provided hope that there may be life after Lewis, McLaren's troubles only continue to deepen.

Related F1 links

Most Read

Check out Ben Linfoot's latest Value Bet selections1

Value Bet: Royal procession

Ben Linfoot seeks out the value in the William Hill Ayr Bronze Cup Handicap on Friday with an unexposed sprinter from Newmarket taken to land the spoils.

Sporting Life's Premier League preview package2

Saturday's Premier League tips

Get your Saturday Premier League coupon sorted with our previews, Super 6 predictions and best bets for all six of the 3pm kick-offs.

Check out the headlines in Friday's back pages3

Friday's Paper Talk

Jack Wilshere is unhappy about his new ankle injury and there's an interesting update on James Milner's contract situation in today's back pages.

Ayr4

Friday's racing preview

Keith Hamer reckons Karl Burke's fine run of form can continue at Ayr on Friday - he has a tip for every race.

Sporting Life columnist Richard Fahey on his weekend team5

Richard Fahey: Strong Ayr raid

Our star columnist has a strong team heading to Ayr on Friday including a horse he thinks is the one to beat in the William Hill Bronze Cup.

Most Read

Check out Ben Linfoot's latest Value Bet selections1

Value Bet: Royal procession

Ben Linfoot seeks out the value in the William Hill Ayr Bronze Cup Handicap on Friday with an unexposed sprinter from Newmarket taken to land the spoils.

Sporting Life's Premier League preview package2

Saturday's Premier League tips

Get your Saturday Premier League coupon sorted with our previews, Super 6 predictions and best bets for all six of the 3pm kick-offs.

Check out the headlines in Friday's back pages3

Friday's Paper Talk

Jack Wilshere is unhappy about his new ankle injury and there's an interesting update on James Milner's contract situation in today's back pages.

Ayr4

Friday's racing preview

Keith Hamer reckons Karl Burke's fine run of form can continue at Ayr on Friday - he has a tip for every race.

Sporting Life columnist Richard Fahey on his weekend team5

Richard Fahey: Strong Ayr raid

Our star columnist has a strong team heading to Ayr on Friday including a horse he thinks is the one to beat in the William Hill Bronze Cup.

Racing Tips

Check out Ben Linfoot's latest Value Bet selections

Value Bet: Royal procession

Ben Linfoot seeks out the value in the William Hill Ayr Bronze Cup Handicap on Friday with an unexposed sprinter from Newmarket taken to land the spoils.

Ayr

Friday's racing preview

Keith Hamer reckons Karl Burke's fine run of form can continue at Ayr on Friday - he has a tip for every race.

Find out who our team are backing ahead of today's racing

Sporting Life: Daily Nap

Ben Linfoot heads to Ayr for the Sporting Life Daily Nap selection on Friday with his Value Bet selection running in the William Hill Ayr Bronze Cup.

Next Race Off
10:35 Hyderabad
4
(4)
Long Range
J: Akshay Kumar
1
(6)
City Of Ayaansh
J: Suraj Narredu
8
(5)
Jo Malone
J: P S Chouhan

Football Tips

Sporting Life's Premier League preview package

Saturday's Premier League tips

Get your Saturday Premier League coupon sorted with our previews, Super 6 predictions and best bets for all six of the 3pm kick-offs.

Premier League betting tips for Fulham v Watford

Watford to bounce back at Fulham

Watford are taken to bounce back to winning ways when they visit Fulham in Saturday's lunchtime kick-off, with Troy Deeney tipped to be the main man.

Our best bets for Wigan v Bristol City

Powell set to star for Latics

The Sky Bet Championship gets going with Wigan's televised encounter with Bristol City. Tom Carnduff has a look at the betting.