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Published: 17:50 | 2/4/16

Hamilton takes pole in Bahrain


Lewis Hamilton held off the challenge of Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg to secure the 51st pole position of his career at the Bahrain Grand Prix.

The Ferrari pair of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo, who were quickest in Saturday final practice in Sakhir, are third and fourth on the grid.

Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo will start Sunday's race in fifth, just ahead of Williams pair Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa.

Nico Hulkenberg, Romain Grosjean and Max Verstappen make up the rest of the top 10.

Hamilton, who has won the past two Bahrain Grands Prix, was delighted to record the fastest-ever lap time of one minute 29.493 seconds at the circuit during qualifying.

"I was really pleased with that lap. It’s not been a smooth sailing weekend in terms of pace. I was generally struggling to put laps together and luckily the lap I did put together was the last one," he said.

"The car felt great. It’s incredible to think we are quicker than the V10 days. It shows how far the technology has come."

Rosberg is looking for fifth consecutive Grand Prix victory after his win at Melbourne and the three-on-a-row at the end of last season.

"My lap felt good and I was sure I was on pole. Lewis put in an incredible lap to beat me. This track is where pole counts least I think. There are still a lot of opportunities," he said.

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