After dominating every practice session in Bahrain earlier this weekend, it came as little surprise that Mercedes was the team to beat once again in qualifying as Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton locked out the front row on Saturday night.
Such was the Silver Arrows’ advantage that both drivers could run just once in every part of qualifying, and therefore saved three sets of tires compared to the other teams. The only concern that pole-sitter Rosberg had was about tire degradation, and with a safety net now in place, a one-two finish appears to be a formality.
The race for the final podium position appears to be far, far closer, thankfully. Daniel Ricciardo finished as ‘best of the rest’ behind the Mercedes, but he will start 13th due to a grid penalty. Valtteri Bottas will instead start in third place ahead of Sergio Perez, and with Kimi Raikkonen showing a good long run pace during practice, the Finn could be set to claim Ferrari’s first podium finish of the season.
Following qualifying, there have been two changes made to the grid due to penalties:
- Daniel Ricciardo has been demoted from P3 to P13 after receiving a 10 place grid penalty in Malaysia for an unsafe release in the pit lane.
- Adrian Sutil received a five place grid penalty for blocking Romain Grosjean during Q1 yesterday. Having qualified 18th, he will start last on the grid.
You can watch the Bahrain Grand Prix live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 10:30am ET. For more details, click here.
Starting grid for the 2014 Bahrain Grand Prix
1. Nico Rosberg Mercedes
2. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
3. Valtteri Bottas Williams
4. Sergio Perez Force India
5. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari
6. Jenson Button McLaren
7. Felipe Massa Williams
8. Kevin Magnussen McLaren
9. Fernando Alonso Ferrari
10. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull
11. Nico Hulkenberg Force India
12. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso
13. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull
14. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso
15. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber
16. Romain Grosjean Lotus
17. Pastor Maldonado Lotus
18. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham
19. Jules Bianchi Marussia
20. Marcus Ericsson Caterham
21. Max Chilton Marussia
22. Adrian Sutil Sauber