Formula One

 
               === Rosberg tops Hamilton for Bahrain GP pole ===
 
 Sakhir,  Bahrain (SportsNetwork.com)  - Mercedes locked out the front starting
 row  for  the Bahrain Grand Prix,  with Nico Rosberg winning the pole position
 after  beating  his teammate,  Lewis Hamilton, by  0.279 seconds in Saturday's
 qualifying.
 
 With  qualifying held  at nighttime, Rosberg made a lap around the 3.195-mile,
 15-turn  Bahrain International  Circuit in  1 minute,  33.185 seconds  for his
 fifth career pole in Formula One. He also won the pole for last year's Bahrain
 GP.
 
 Rosberg  placed second to Hamilton in both practice sessions on Friday as well
 as the final practice, which took place shortly before qualifying. This is the
 first  year the  Bahrain GP  will run  at night.  Practices took  place during
 twilight.
 
 "It's  just worked well through the weekend, finding my way and getting around
 some  issues," Rosberg  said. "The  challenge this  weekend is  that the  free
 practice  sessions  were  in  such  hot  conditions,  mainly  the  one  before
 qualifying.  It's just very  difficult, and you have to sort of guess what the
 setup  is and what is the car going to be like in the colder conditions during
 the  evening. It worked out well. I was feeling comfortable, and I got my laps
 together, so I'm very happy."
 
 Rosberg is the current leader in the F1 world championship point standings. He
 began  the season  by winning  the  March 16  Australian Grand  Prix and  then
 finishing second to Hamilton in last Sunday's Malaysian Grand Prix.
 
 Hamilton turned a lap in 1:33.464 on his first attempt in Q3. He tried to make
 another  lap in the  closing seconds but had to abort it after he locked up in
 turn 1.
 
 "Congratulations  to Nico. He's done a great job this weekend," Hamilton said.
 "I  made  a mistake  on my  last lap.  I locked  up and  went straight on. But
 generally  I'm happy. I'm  really proud of the team for us to continue to keep
 moving forward and progressing as we are."
 
 Neither Rosberg nor Hamilton has yet to win the Bahrain GP.
 
 Daniel  Ricciardo from  Red Bull  was impressive  again in  qualifying with  a
 third-place  finish, but  Ricciardo will  start 13th  due to  a 10-place  grid
 penalty  he received for  an unsafe release during a pit stop in the Malaysian
 GP.
 
 "I  was really pleased with qualifying tonight," Ricciardo said. "Tomorrow, of
 course, I don't stay at the front here. There's a bit of work to do."
 
 Ricciardo's teammate, Sebastian Vettel, the four-time defending world champion
 and  winner of the  Bahrain GP the past two years, struggled in qualifying, as
 he  failed  to  advance  into  Q3. Vettel  had  issues  with  his  downshifts,
 particularly  in Q2. He finished 11th, but Ricciardo's penalty moved him up to
 10th on the starting grid.
 
 "I  wasn't quick enough this evening," Vettel said. "It's hard to say if there
 was a problem with the car, but at the end, we weren't quick enough."
 
 Valtteri  Bottas  from Williams  will start third,  while Force India's Sergio
 Perez  will  roll off  fourth from  the grid.  Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen begins
 Sunday's 57-lap race from the fifth spot.
 
 04/05 13:29:26 ET

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