Bahrain GP: Raikkonen top as Hamilton struggles

Stoffel Vandoorne drives in Bahrain

Sebastian Vettel will head an all-Ferrari front row at the Bahrain Grand Prix as Lewis Hamilton will start ninth after a grid penalty. But first comes Bahrain where Wolff said getting the right set-up is extremely hard because two out of three practice sessions are in the heat during the day while qualifying and the race is in cooler conditions after sunset.

Kimi Raikkonen was quickest for Ferrari under the lights in practice on Friday and again in FP3, but Vettel was 0.143 seconds faster than his teammate when it mattered on Saturday to end Mercedes' run of five consecutive poles in Bahrain.

The Mercedes drivers had to settle for third and fourth with Valtteri Bottas ahead of Hamilton. Lewis Hamilton was a distant P4 after struggling to get to grips with the circuit.

Hamilton, who will start ninth following a five-place grid penalty, said Ferrari's performance versus Mercedes in qualifying proved the engines were closely matched.

Red Bull's weakness over a single lap eventually meant Daniel Ricciardo could only finish fifth but the Australian will move up one position onto the second row.

The earlier session offered little insight into what might happen in Sunday's race given it took place in daylight, but Ricciardo proved strong late on to usurp Bottas and Raikkonen. The result will be particularly satisfying for the Japanese engine manufacturer which, after splitting with McLaren over the winter, comfortably outperformed its former chassis partner at a power-sensitive circuit. Despite the mistake he went on to set a time that was just 0.090s off teammate Hamilton, suggesting the Mercedes simply isn't as fast as expected this weekend.

Seventh in the evening session was the lonely Renault of Nico Hulkenberg, with a surprise showing by Frenchman Pierre Gasly in the Honda-powered Toro Rosso in Eighth. Hartley hit a bird and damaged his front wing during Q1 but after it was replaced he admitted it was a mistake in the last corner that cost him a place in Q3.

But he has been helped by a mistake by Max Verstappen, who crashed his Red Bull in first qualifying and will start 15th. The auto swapped ends on him under acceleration and he clattered across the gravel before the front left suspension snapped on impact with the wall.

Sixth is the highest the four-times champion can start Sunday's race - which has never been won from lower than fourth on the grid - even if he sets the quickest time in qualifying.

After the first segment of qualification in full force left the "Williams" and "Zauber" and "Haas" suddenly lost Romain Grosjean.

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