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F1 2016: Bahrain Qualifying Report – Hamilton Wraps Up Pole

Lewis Hamilton wrapped up his second consecutive pole position of the season for the Mercedes F1 team.

The much maligned qualifying format got underway on the floodlit Sakhir International circuit and claimed its fist victim as Sergio Perez. The Force India driver and his team miscalculated the timing clock which left the Mexican driver towards the back of the grid. Pascal Wehrlein impressed in his Manor F1 car and will start Sunday’s race in 17th place.

The second session of qualifying saw the red light at the end of the pitlane malfunction prompting a marshal to wave a green flag to set the drivers on their way. Stand-in McLaren driver Stoffel Vandoorne out-qualified teammate Jenson Button and will line up in twelfth position. French driver Romain Grosjean sported a big smile as he will line up the Haas F1 car in ninth place on the grid.

Lewis Hamilton_Bahrain 2016_QualifyingThe final session of qualifying produced a surprise for Daniel Ricciardo who will start in fifth position ahead of both the Williams drivers. Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner remarked earlier that they would have to deliver something special to come out ahead in the intensely close mid-field battle.

The first run between both Mercedes and Ferrari team’s drivers saw laptimes split only by a couple of tenths. However, Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton upped the ante for the final run. The reigning champion secured pole position ahead of teammate Nico Rosberg but less than a tenth of a second. Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen will share the second row of the grid as they did in Australia.

Attention now turns to the start of Sunday’s race and the run down to the all-important first corner. Mercedes will be keen to improve on their starting prowess following the opening round of the season. And with the longer run down to turn one it will have to be inch perfect.

About Natalie Le Clue

Natalie Le Clue is an F1 aficionado of the most dedicated vein. And, true to form for any F1-enamoured junkie, she readily admits to crying the first time she saw a F1 car, calling it an ‘overwhelming moment’. Natalie has won the 2010 gSport Woman In Media award, the 2015 Woman In Media Print award, and has been named as one of the Top 100 Most Influential People in South African Sport by the Department of Sport and Recreation. Natalie is currently serving as SAfm's F1 correspondent. Follow Natalie on Twitter @nlc27

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