Manama: Nico Rosberg took pole position for the Bahrain Grand Prix on Saturday with teammate Lewis Hamilton ensuring a Mercedes front row lockout, further loosening struggling Sebastien Vettel's grip on his world title. Rosberg, the world championship leader after two races, clocked 1min 33.185sec to edge Hamilton by 0.279sec as Mercedes stayed on course for a third win in three races this season.
It was German driver Rosberg's fifth career pole and first of this season after Hamilton had started from the front in Australia and Malaysia. "Starting from pole is great but it's a whole different story tomorrow. The challenge waiting us is tyre degradation but I'm confident I can stay ahead in tomorrow's race," said Rosberg, who won the season opener in Australia.
Mercedes have been untouchable in Bahrain with Hamilton and Rosberg dominating all three practice sessions. Rosberg will head into Sunday's floodlit race with 43 points to his teammate's 25 after Hamilton, who made a slight error on his last flying lap, missed out on what would have been a third pole in three races in 2014.