Nico Rosberg took pole position in qualifying for the Bahrain Grand Prix this evening, with Lewis Hamilton completing the first Silver Arrows front row lock-out of the 2014 Formula One season.
Nico took his fifth pole position for the Silver Arrows on the 150th Grand Prix weekend of his Formula One career to date. Both Nico and Lewis progressed through Q1 inside the top 10 with a single run each on the medium compound tyres. The pair then completed a single run on the soft tyre in Q2 and again in Q3 with each aborting their final run on the softs. Mercedes-Benz powered cars occupied seven of the top 10 positions at the end of this evening's qualifying session.
Nico Rosberg: It's fantastic to be on pole again here in Bahrain. I really enjoy the track and I won my GP2 Series title here so it has some pretty special memories for me. We've had a good weekend so far and I've been able improve my pace throughout the practice sessions so I was hoping for a strong qualifying. It's so difficult to get everything completely right with all the new technology and set-up requirements on the car but I felt really comfortable this evening and was able to put some great laps together. I'm looking forward to the race as I had a good run on high fuel but we're going to need to be careful with tyre degradation.
Lewis Hamilton: Second place is pretty good for us today. I made a mistake on my last lap which was a shame but it's great for the team to have both cars on the front row. They've done a fantastic job this weekend with the set-up simulations and we did a lot of testing here before the season started which has helped. The car has felt good so far but I definitely felt more comfortable in practice than I did this evening in qualifying. I'm not really sure why but we'll have a good look at the data tonight and see if there is anything we can identify before the race tomorrow. Congratulations to Nico today, he's done a great job so far this weekend and nailed a really quick lap in qualifying. I'm happy that it's my team-mate there on pole and not someone else!
Toto Wolff: To have both cars occupy the front row for the first time this season is a great achievement for the team. As we've seen all weekend, we are fortunate to have two drivers at the top of their game. They are pushing each other every step of the way and driving our team forwards with them. Our performance this weekend has been strong throughout the practice sessions and we must now maintain it through the biggest challenge of all in tomorrow evening's race. No matter how satisfied you might be on Saturday, Sunday can be an entirely different scenario. We have seen some strong performances from our competitors tonight and there is no room for complacency.
Paddy Lowe: It's extremely satisfying to see that our car has the performance to take both slots on the front row for the first time under these new regulations. Our pace was evident from the beginning of Q1 and it was good to watch our drivers competing so closely throughout the sessions. Nico drove a superb lap on his first run in Q3 and Lewis clearly sensed he had to push to the limit to match his team-mate. Unfortunately this lead to a mistake at the first corner but his initial lap was still good enough to maintain second. It's been a good day and we look forward to seeing if we can match that performance in the race tomorrow.
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