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Formula 1: Vettel on pole in Bahrain as Ferrari sweeps the front row

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Scuderia Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel scored the pole for Sunday’s Bahrain Grand Prix in a front row lockout for Ferrari, as teammate Kimi Raikkonen qualified second and will flank Vettel at the head of the grid.

Vettel’s time of 1:27.958 was the only lap in the 1:27 bracket in Q3, bettering Raikkonen’s time by .143 seconds, and was the fastest lap ever turned around the Bahrain International Circuit.

The Mercedes AMG Petronas duo of Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton were third and fourth, though Hamilton will get a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change.

Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo was fifth, while Scuderia Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly scored an impressive sixth, and Hamilton’s penalty means that Gasly will start fifth come Sunday’s race, an outstanding result for both Gasly and Toro Rosso.

The rest of the Top 10 from Q3 were Haas F1 Team’s Kevin Magnussen in seventh, Renault Sport F1 Team’s Nico Hulkenberg in eighth, Sahara Force India’s Esteban Ocon in ninth, and Renault’s Carlos Sainz Jr. in tenth.

Of note: the lone incident of qualifying came during Q1, when Red Bull driver Max Verstappen crashed exiting Turn 2. Verstappen’s car broke loose, sending him spinning across the track and into the barriers, damaging the front wing and left-front suspension.

Though his Q1 time was good enough to advance him into Q2 – Verstappen was fourth at the time – his car was too damaged to continue, and he will start 15th.

Results are below. The Bahrain Grand Prix begins Sunday at 11:00 a.m. ET.

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IMSA’s 50th Anniversary Celebration: Why Sebring is so special to Bobby Rahal

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Bobby Rahal has driven in some of the biggest races in the world, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Rolex 24 Hours and, of course, winning the Indianapolis 500 as a driver in 1986 and in 2004 as a team owner.

But winning the 12 Hours of Sebring two years in a row (1987 and 1988), Rahal feels, is right up there in terms of his greatest accomplishments as a race car driver.

As IMSA celebrates its 50th anniversary, Rahal reflected on what racing at Sebring International Raceway has meant to him:

“To me, Sebring is the ultimate endurance race. Not as long as Daytona or Le Mans, but the demands put on a car and driver at Sebring are highly unusual.

“My father raced at Sebring in the late 60’s. To win that race two years in a row really meant something to me.

“While we’ve won a lot of other races, we’ve won just about everywhere, you name it. But for me personally, winning at Sebring those two years in a row was very special.”

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