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2018 F1

Vettel on pole as Ferrari 1-2 in Bahrain qualifying

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Sebastian Vettel took his 51st career pole position at the Bahrain Grand Prix as Ferrari locked out the front row of the grid under the floodlights at Sakhir.

The championship leader Vettel beat his team-mate Kimi Raikkonen to pole by 0.143s, who was 0.023s ahead of the fastest Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas in third. Lewis Hamilton, 0.262s off Vettel, struggled to hook up a clean lap and will start ninth on the grid once his five-place grid penalty is factored in.

Vettel: “Quite intense. First run in Q3 I was very happy and then I tossed it away at the last corner. I was happy I got the second run and got it clean.

“I knew the last corner I had to stay away from that kerb. The car was excellent all weekend so I’m looking forward to tomorrow.

“If the car is responding to what you want it to do it is a pleasure. Australia was more of a fight and we improved it yesterday to today. The car was responding so very pleased.”

“I’m feeling good now but tomorrow is a long race and it’s difficult to make the tyres last.

“The car is quick and that usually helps. For now I’m chuffed and for the team as well as we had some issues this morning and we overcame them.”

Raikkonen: “Far from ideal in the last run with the traffic but what can I do.

“Tomorrow is the main thing. Tomorrow is when we get the points or not. We will see what we can do then.”

Bottas: “It felt Ok the laps and they were getting better towards the end. I got it more or less.

“These guys in the red car are just a little bit too quick. We can’t be happy with this so we are looking forward to tomorrow.

“I think it will be a close race, even with Red Bull and with Lewis and Max coming from behind.”

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