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 0.134 seconds clear of Raikkonen, with Bottas marginally further back. Hamilton was 0.262 seconds 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… Read full this story
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