Vettel bags first pole of 2012 in Bahrain

Vettel bags first pole of 2012 in Bahrain

21 April 2012 – After his promising form in practice, Sebastian Vettel has snatched Red Bull’s first pole position of the 2012 season at Sakhir. The Champion shares the front row with Lewis Hamilton, with their respective team-mates third and fourth. Mercedes is left highly disappointed, with Rosberg and Schumacher only fifth and 17th.

On another hot and dusty day in the Bahraini desert, tyres remained very much the talking point; grip is proving a real problem for all of the teams, not least as the sandy track surface induces wheelspin and damages rear tyres at a rapid rate of knots.

Following the off-track incidents of earlier this week, all in the Formula 1 paddock were pleased to see that colleagues had arrived at the track safely this morning.

Fernando Alonso may have felt the need to use Soft tyres immediately in Q1, but it was Mercedes generating headlines as Michael Schumacher sensationally fell out of the session at the very first hurdle; sitting in his garage with a DRS problem, the seven-time World Champion was knocked out as Heikki Kovalainen switched to the quicker compound and improved his lap time by 1.4 seconds. As Pastor Maldonado has a penalty, Schumacher will start from 17th. All cars made the 107 percent cut.

Hamilton set the pace early doors in Q2, looking to stamp his authority on the field by picking up a third pole from four races. It looked briefly as though Felipe Massa may have passed into the top ten shootout for the first time this year, but the Brazilian was duly demoted to 14th place in the cumbersome Ferrari F2012. Fernando Alonso did enough to move up, as did Romain Grosjean, but as the Franco-Swiss improved to third this pushed team-mate Kimi Räikkönen down to 11th on Sunday’s grid.

On F1’s last visit to Bahrain two years ago, race organisers elected to use the full-length Endurance Circuit. Back on the Grand Prix configuration today, its more flowing nature made for a dramatic end to the session as a number of contenders vied for the top spot. Hamilton led Button after the first Q3 runs, but Rosberg and both Red Bulls were also battling for the best place on the starting grid.

Jenson Button will set off from fourth; he compromised his chances by locking up at the ever difficult and tightening Turn 10. Rosberg did the same thing, compounding this by running deep at the final corner – he ended up fifth when another pole had been a genuine possibility. Webber snatched P1, only for Hamilton to beat him before Vettel followed suit.

Behind, Daniel Ricciardo proved why he is currently favourite for a 2013 Red Bull seat by putting his Shanghai problems behind him and managing sixth place; the achievement is highlighted by the fact that Jean-Éric Vergne, in the second Toro Rosso, was eliminated in Q1 for the third consecutive race. The top ten is completed by Grosjean, Sergio Pérez, Alonso and Paul di Resta; after Force India skipped second practice, this was a commendable performance but the team’s cars were not shown on the FOM television feed for the duration of qualifying.

Vettel’s first pole of 2012 is the 31st of his career, moving to just one behind 1992 title winner Nigel Mansell and the top five of all-time pole sitters. The result also marks a second successive Bahrain pole for the German.


Sunday’s 2012 Bahrain Grand Prix begins at 3pm local time (BST +2) and all events can be tracked through the interactive GPUpdate.net Live report

related

Comments

Latest News
Full
Compact

  1. Wednesday 17 September 2014

  2. Video: Force India drivers on Singapore GP 18:05

    Video: Force India drivers on Singapore GP

    Force India drivers Nico Hülkenberg and Sergio Pérez preview the Singapore Grand Prix.

    F1
  3. Fry: Ferrari needs to regroup and refocus 17:44

    Fry: Ferrari needs to regroup and refocus

    Ferrari engineering guru Pat Fry says the team needs to "regroup" and "refocus" ahead of this weekend's Singapore Grand...

    F1
  4. Miller signs MotoGP deal with LCR Honda 16:24

    Miller signs MotoGP deal with LCR Honda

    Jack Miller will graduate to MotoGP in 2015 after signing a deal with Honda. The Australian, who currently leads the way...

    MotoGP
  5. Grosjean signs up for Race of Champions 16:04

    Grosjean signs up for Race of Champions

    Lotus driver Romain Grosjean will compete in this year's Race of Champions event in Barbados. Grosjean, who won the ROC...

    F1
  6. Massa: Williams out to close gap to Red Bull 15:21

    Massa: Williams out to close gap to Red Bull

    Felipe Massa reckons Williams might be able to overhaul Red Bull during the remainder of the season and finish 'best of the...

    F1
  7. GP2 to introduce DRS from next year 13:36

    GP2 to introduce DRS from next year

    GP2 has confirmed that the Drag Reduction System (DRS) will feature on its GP2/11 machines from the start of the 2015...

    GP2
  8. Video: Ferrari looks ahead to Singapore 13:30

    Video: Ferrari looks ahead to Singapore

    Ferrari Engineering Director Pat Fry looks ahead to this weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix.

    F1
  9. KTM to make 'big jump' to MotoGP in 2017 13:22

    KTM to make 'big jump' to MotoGP in 2017

    KTM plans to compete in MotoGP from 2017, Head of Motorsport Pit Beirer has revealed. "We had plans to go first to Moto2...

    MotoGP
  10. 13:10

    Latest F1 photos: Preparations in Singapore

    F1
  11. Kobayashi to race for Caterham in Singapore 12:06

    Kobayashi to race for Caterham in Singapore

    Kamui Kobayashi will race for Caterham in the Singapore Grand Prix this weekend, once again linking up with Marcus Ericsson,...

    F1
  12. Rosberg: Racing will be purer now 11:10

    Rosberg: Racing will be purer now

    Nico Rosberg says the racing will now be "purer" following the FIA's clampdown on radio messages. Race Director Charlie...

    F1
  13. Vergne: I have potential to be like Ricciardo 10:30

    Vergne: I have potential to be like Ricciardo

    Jean-Éric Vergne believes he has the "potential" to do as well as Daniel Ricciardo in Formula 1, providing he is given the...

    F1
  14. Wolff: Rosberg and Hamilton almost 'enemies' 09:37

    Wolff: Rosberg and Hamilton almost 'enemies'

    Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton are almost like "enemies" now as the battle for the Formula 1...

    F1
  15. Singapore memories: Alonso gives Webber a lift 05:07

    Singapore memories: Alonso gives Webber a lift

    Ferrari's Fernando Alonso gives then Red Bull driver Mark Webber a lift back to the pits at the end of the 2013 Singapore...

    F1
  16. Tuesday 16 September 2014

  17. Aleshin released from hospital after crash 20:12

    Aleshin released from hospital after crash

    Mikhail Aleshin has been released from hospital, 18 days after he sustained injuries in a violent crash during practice for...

    Indy
  18. Marussia using Monaco result as inspiration 15:21

    Marussia using Monaco result as inspiration

    Marussia is looking to draw on its maiden points finish at this weekend's Singapore Grand Prix. Although five seconds...

    F1
  19. Williams looks to solidify third position 12:56

    Williams looks to solidify third position

    Williams says its focus during the season run-in is to solidify third in the Constructors' standings. The Grove-based...

    F1
  20. Renault expects to be closer in Singapore 12:29

    Renault expects to be closer in Singapore

    Renault is expecting its power unit to fare much better at this weekend's Singapore Grand Prix. The French manufacturer's...

    F1
  21. Video: Rosberg looks ahead to Singapore 10:25

    Video: Rosberg looks ahead to Singapore

    Mercedes driver and championship leader Nico Rosberg previews the upcoming Singapore Grand Prix.

    F1
  22. Kobayashi saddened by Caterham situation 10:17

    Kobayashi saddened by Caterham situation

    Kamui Kobayashi says he is saddened by the current state of affairs at the Caterham Formula 1 team. Having made his...

    F1
  23. Bautista confirmed at Gresini Aprilia 09:22

    Bautista confirmed at Gresini Aprilia

    Álvaro Bautista will remain with Gresini in 2015 after being confirmed as part of the team's Aprilia tie-up. Last week,...

    MotoGP
  24. Singapore memories: Massa's pit-stop drama 05:02

    Singapore memories: Massa's pit-stop drama

    Relive the drama as Felipe Massa drives away from his pit box with the fuel hose still attached during the 2008 Singapore...

    F1
  25. Monday 15 September 2014

  26. Radio clampdown also applies to pit boards 17:31

    Radio clampdown also applies to pit boards

    Formula 1's governing body, the FIA, has sent a fresh technical directive to teams confirming that the radio message...

    F1
  27. Video: Van der Garde wins at Goodwood 15:48

    Video: Van der Garde wins at Goodwood

    Relive highlights as Sauber reserve driver Giedo van der Garde claims victory in the RAC TT Celebration race at the Goodwood...

    F1
  28. 14:02

    Photos: Goodwood Revival 2014

    F1
  29. Wehrlein named Mercedes reserve driver 13:06

    Wehrlein named Mercedes reserve driver

    DTM racer Pascal Wehrlein, just a day after claiming his maiden victory in the touring car championship at the Lausitzring,...

    F1
  30. Singapore keeps pair of DRS zones 12:42

    Singapore keeps pair of DRS zones

    The FIA has chosen to retain two DRS zones for this year's Singapore Grand Prix. The night race featured just one zone in...

    F1
  31. Redding to ride Marc VDS Honda in 2015 10:32

    Redding to ride Marc VDS Honda in 2015

    Marc VDS will run Scott Redding on a Factory Honda in MotoGP in 2015, when it steps up from Moto2. Redding had been...

    MotoGP
  32. Prodromou starts work at McLaren 10:04

    Prodromou starts work at McLaren

    Peter Prodromou has officially started work at McLaren in his new position of Chief Engineer. Prodromou signed a deal...

    F1
  33. Video: Ericsson in Swedish F1 demo 09:40

    Video: Ericsson in Swedish F1 demo

    Caterham driver Marcus Ericsson returned to his native Sweden for the Örebro Race Day last weekend. Watch as he wows the...

    F1
  34. MotoGP announces software freeze 09:08

    MotoGP announces software freeze

    MotoGP has announced that manufacturers will not be permitted to develop their own software beyond June 2015, as the premier...

    MotoGP
  35. 09:06

    Photos: Singapore Grand Prix preparations

    F1
  36. Ericsson: Brakes Caterham's main weakness 08:04

    Ericsson: Brakes Caterham's main weakness

    Marcus Ericsson says instability under braking is currently the primary problem facing Caterham as it bids to close the gap...

    F1
  37. Singapore memories: Räikkönen's bold pass 05:06

    Singapore memories: Räikkönen's bold pass

    Relive one of the finest overtakes from the short history of the Singapore Grand Prix, with then Lotus driver Kimi Räikkönen...

    F1
  38. Sunday 14 September 2014

  39. 17:01

    Latest MotoGP photos: Sunday at Misano

    MotoGP
  40. Márquez happy despite Misano crash 16:58

    Márquez happy despite Misano crash

    Marc Márquez says he was happy to collect a point for 15th place, despite sliding out of contention for victory in the San...

    MotoGP
  41. 13:59

    Latest FR3.5 photos: Sunday at the Hungaroring

    FR 3.5
  42. Nato beats Merhi to victory in Hungary 13:58

    Nato beats Merhi to victory in Hungary

    Norman Nato profited from a strong start to claim victory in the final race of the Formula Renault 3.5 round at the...

    FR 3.5
  43. Rossi wins at Misano as Márquez crashes 13:51

    Rossi wins at Misano as Márquez crashes

    Valentino Rossi claimed a popular first victory of the season at Misano as World Champion Marc Márquez was only 15th after...

    MotoGP
  44. Hülkenberg: Force India desperate for fifth 09:14

    Hülkenberg: Force India desperate for fifth

    Nico Hülkenberg says Force India is "desperate" to finish in the top five of the Constructors' Championship as they bid to...

    F1
more news