Lewis Hamilton was delighted to claim his first pole position at the Bahrain Grand Prix during Saturday’s qualifying session, but feels that Ferrari will pose a very serious threat to Mercedes from second and fourth place on the grid in tomorrow’s race.
Hamilton secured his fourth pole position of the season on Saturday, but will start the race at the Bahrain International Circuit from P1 for the first time in his F1 career.
The Briton laid down an impressive pace during qualifying to beat Sebastian Vettel by four-tenths of a second in the final part of the session, and explained that he feels very comfortable with the Mercedes W06 Hybrid.
“I feel great, I feel very happy,” Hamilton said after the session. “Obviously coming into the weekend that was our target, to really kind and try and master this track and get the car into an area that I’m comfortable with.
“That’s generally how the weekend has gone. Really grateful to have this beast underneath me with which I can really attack these corners with.
“I think last year I wasn’t comfortable with the car to be able to do so, so it’s a great feeling.”
After displaying a strong race pace during practice on Friday, Vettel will be hoping to spring another surprise on Mercedes like he did in Malaysia to claim a second win of the season for Ferrari.
Hamilton explained that the team had been over its defeat to Ferrari a number of times, but still thinks that the Italian marque will be tricky to beat in the race on Sunday.
“We’ve gone over it tons of times already about what we have learned, but it doesn’t get us away from the fact that they are very quick this weekend and they are going to be very hard to beat tomorrow,” Hamilton said.
“They’ve got great race pace. Hopefully with our positioning, that does help, and we’ll be taking all measures that we can to make the tires go as long as they do.
“But I think we’re in a good position, so I’m looking forward to the fight.”
The Bahrain Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 10:30am ET on Sunday.