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You are here: Motorsport Formula 1 Vettel and Raikkonen lock-out front row for Ferrari in Bahrain

Vettel and Raikkonen lock-out front row for Ferrari in Bahrain

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Bahrain Grand Prix€At the end of a tense qualifying session, Seb Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen flashed through the finish line of the Bahrain International Circuit to take first and second spot on tomorrow’s starting grid. It is the 214th pole position for Scuderia Ferrari and the 59th front row lock-out since 1950, while Sebastian claimed his sixth pole for the Cavallino squad and 51st overall. On a track that calls for power, traction and tire management, the two SF71Hs proved their worth and the whole team gave their best.

Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas will start tomorrow's Bahrain Grand Prix from P3. Reigning World Champion Lewis Hamilton set the fourth fastest time in Qualifying, but will start tomorrow's race from P9 on the grid owing to a gearbox penalty.

“I think we have a good base and the car is working”, Seb commented. “We have improved in our work on the car. In the beginning it’s always a bit difficult, but now everything is getting better. So, it was nice to keep the car alive. I felt quite good from the start and made some progress during the session. I am very happy with the last laps I did, and also obviously with the result I got. I was really glad to see how the car was responding today. We worked on the setup and tried different things. In Australia the track is tricky and bumpy, so it was difficult to change too much and draw any conclusions. But after the race and with the mileage we did, I think we understood the car better. It’s nice to see that we have built a very strong car and that today we are able to put it on the front row, beating everybody else. It’s been a great result that the whole team deserves. However, the ‘big day’ is tomorrow”.

Kimi’s last qualifying attempt was slightly hampered by traffic, but nonetheless was good enough for second: “My last run was far from perfect; there was traffic and we couldn’t improve. We did not give ourselves a proper chance to do the best we could. The car had a lot of speed, but we did not take full advantage of that. I’m sure there was a lot more to come. Anyway, we start the race in a good position, so I’m a bit disappointed today but that’s how it goes... Tomorrow is another day and we should have a good car; we hope for a better result. The key point will be tire management; it will be tricky for everybody. We’ll try to make the best of it, and I’ll go as fast as I can”.

Bottas said, "It's disappointing not to be in the first row. We've made some good progress through the weekend, but Ferrari was quicker today. We definitely have work to do at this type of circuits and in these kind of conditions. I think we have the right set-up of the car for the race, but it's difficult to estimate the race pace. I think it's going to be really closely matched between Ferrari, Red Bull and us, so it should be an interesting race. I learned a lot about tyre management last year at this track that I think I can use this year. We'll definitely go for it tomorrow and hopefully Lewis can also come back to get some good points so we can keep the pressure on Ferrari."

Hamilton meanwhile shared, "Today wasn't the best of days and tomorrow is going to be one of the hardest races for us in some time. We've been trying to get ahead of the Ferraris, but it has been tough, they just had the pace all weekend. It wasn't the greatest of laps from my side and Ferrari had the edge as they often do in these hotter conditions. The goal for tomorrow is damage limitation. I've got the Soft tyre, so I should be able to go longer - it's going to be interesting to see, there's a couple of different strategies tomorrow. I'll try and eke out every last bit of power and strength from this car. I don't know what we are going to be able to achieve tomorrow, but I will give it everything I've got and hope that I can do something."

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