Formula 1 fans rooting for Lewis Hamilton at the Bahrain GP might have been taken by surprise when his Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg finished at pole position in the Sakhir circuit. But Hamilton remained upbeat and hoped to better the German in the race on Sunday.
"I am happy for Nico, as he has worked hard all weekend long, and he just did a better job," Hamilton said after the qualifying. "It seems that he has felt more and more comfortable in the car as we have gone through the weekend, and maybe it has been a little bit of the opposite for me. Even though the results of the free practices list me as first, I think he has been quicker than me on these days as well.
"Nevertheless we are both on the front row and it will be an interesting race tomorrow. Hopefully I will do better then."
The deciding factor for Hamilton on Saturday came in the second lap of the final qualifying session where he lost pace and could not improve. Nonetheless, the Brit was happy that Mercedes was in the lead.
"It is an incredible feeling. I really don't know what to say except that it is amazing to see what the guys can do. They are working so hard to give Nico and me the car that gives us the chance to fight for the win at every race.
"He has got a great pace, and has learned a lot from last week in Malaysia," Hamilton said about Rosberg. "So the gap that I had there should be much smaller - if not gone - and I need to try and find something new. I hope that we will have the chance to fight for the race win. We have small differences in the set-up of our cars, and Nico has always done well here - he was quick last year - but the gap is a little bit smaller. This is the positive I can take from today."
Rosberg finished 1m 33.18s, while Hamilton finished 1m 33.464s to book the front row comfortably for Mercedes. Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo came the closest to challenging them, with the Australian finishing third with 1m 34.051s. Ricciardo's grid penalty will let the 24-year-old start only at 13, despite him finishing third. Valtteri Bottas of Williams will start at third behind the Mercedes duo.
After the qualifying, the grid reads:
Rosberg, Hamilton; Bottas, Perez; Raikkonen, Button; Massa, Magnussen; Alonso, Vettel; Hulkenberg, Kvyat; Ricciardo, Vergne; Gutierrez, Grosjean; Maldonado, Sutil; Kobayashi, Bianchi; Ericsson, Chilton.
Formula One: Bahrain GP Live Streaming Information (Race starts 6 pm local time, 8 pm IST, 2.30 pm GMT):
|India||Star Sports 4, Star Sports HD2|
|United Kingdom||BBC, Sky Sports|
|Middle East and North Africa||Bein Sports Arabia|
|Germany, Italy||Sky Sport|
|UK||HERE or HERE or HERE|
|Canada||HERE or HERE|
|Germany and Italy||HERE or HERE|