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 2 September 2015

  2. Renault confident over power unit performance 13:40

    Renault confident over power unit performance

    Renault Director of Operations Rémi Taffin says that the power unit supplier can head into this weekend's Italian Grand Prix…

    F1
  3. Williams targets Monza podium repeat 12:24

    Williams targets Monza podium repeat

    Williams Head of Vehicle Performance Rob Smedley says that the squad is targeting a repeat of its 2014 performance at this…

    F1
  4. Honda braced for 'big challenge' at Monza 10:32

    Honda braced for 'big challenge' at Monza

    McLaren's engine supplier Honda says it is braced for a "big challenge" at this weekend's Italian Grand Prix, due to the…

    F1
  5. Preview: Five key questions for Italy 09:35

    Preview: Five key questions for Italy

    Formula 1 heads to the historic Monza circuit this weekend to signal the end of the European part of the 2015 season. Here…

    F1
  6. Mardenborough steps up to GP2 with Carlin 09:13

    Mardenborough steps up to GP2 with Carlin

    British driver Jann Mardenborough will make his GP2 Series debut with Carlin at this weekend's round of the championship at…

    GP2
  7. Armand to make Pons return at Silverstone 08:24

    Armand to make Pons return at Silverstone

    Philo Paz Armand is set to make his return to the Formula Renault 3.5 Series at Silverstone this weekend. Armand, a rookie in…

    FR 3.5
  8. Factfile: The 2015 Italian Grand Prix 07:43

    Factfile: The 2015 Italian Grand Prix

    Formula 1's European leg comes to an end with this weekend's Italian Grand Prix. Ahead of the event at the Autodromo Nazionale…

    F1
  9. Video of the Day: Vettel's Monza preview 05:26

    Video of the Day: Vettel's Monza preview

    Quadruple World Champion Sebastian Vettel looks ahead to his first Italian Grand Prix as a Ferrari driver.

    F1
  10. Tuesday 1 September 2015

  11. 17:42

    Book F1 tickets and join the action live!

    F1
  12. Sainz Jr. set for 10-place grid drop at Monza 17:30

    Sainz Jr. set for 10-place grid drop at Monza

    Toro Rosso rookie Carlos Sainz Jr. is set to take a 10-place grid drop for this weekend's Italian Grand Prix at Monza, with…

    F1
  13. Video: Ferrari previews home F1 race 14:08

    Video: Ferrari previews home F1 race

    Ferrari previews its home Formula 1 race, the Italian Grand Prix at Monza, which takes place this weekend.

    F1
  14. Button hopeful deployment issues fixed 12:43

    Button hopeful deployment issues fixed

    Jenson Button says McLaren-Honda has been working hard to ensure that the deployment problems he endured at the Belgian Grand…

    F1
  15. Rosberg targets qualifying, start gains 12:04

    Rosberg targets qualifying, start gains

    Nico Rosberg is focused on improving his qualifying pace and start procedure at the Italian Grand Prix, as he bids to get on…

    F1
  16. Hülkenberg signs new Force India deal 11:27

    Hülkenberg signs new Force India deal

    Nico Hülkenberg will remain as a Force India driver until at least the end of the 2017 Formula 1 campaign, after the 24 Hours…

    F1
  17. Wilson wins IndyCar fan favourite award 11:26

    Wilson wins IndyCar fan favourite award

    The late Justin Wilson was posthumously awarded IndyCar's fan favourite accolade at the end-of-season championship celebration…

    Indy
  18. Niederhauser to make GP2 debut at Monza 09:29

    Niederhauser to make GP2 debut at Monza

    Patric Niederhauser will make his GP2 debut with Team Lazarus at this weekend's Monza round. Niederhauser, who finished 10th…

    GP2
  19. Video of the Day: Kvyat demos F1 car in Russia 05:26

    Video of the Day: Kvyat demos F1 car in Russia

    Red Bull's Daniil Kvyat showcased Formula 1 machinery at the recent Kazan City Racing event in Russia.

    F1
  20. Monday 31 August 2015

  21. Pirelli completes Vettel tyre investigation 17:53

    Pirelli completes Vettel tyre investigation

    Formula 1 tyre supplier Pirelli has completed its investigation into the circumstances surrounding Sebastian Vettel's failure in…

    F1
  22. Hülkenberg keen to make up for DNS 14:24

    Hülkenberg keen to make up for DNS

    Nico Hülkenberg is hopeful that he can make up for his non-start in Belgium with a return to the points-paying positions at…

    F1
  23. Video: Dixon snatches title with Sonoma win 13:34

    Video: Dixon snatches title with Sonoma win

    Watch highlights as Scott Dixon wins the double-points Sonoma finale to snatch his fourth IndyCar title.

    Indy
  24. Pérez: We must keep aiming for podium 12:06

    Pérez: We must keep aiming for podium

    Sergio Pérez says Force India should continue to target podium finishes over the remainder of the 2015 season, after an…

    F1
  25. Monza tyre selection 'way more sensible' 10:41

    Monza tyre selection 'way more sensible'

    Formula 1 tyre supplier Pirelli has been praised for making a "way more sensible" compound selection for this weekend's Italian…

    F1
  26. Márquez concedes 2015 title chances over 10:15

    Márquez concedes 2015 title chances over

    Repsol Honda rider Marc Márquez has admitted that his chances of defending his MotoGP title are all but over after he crashed…

    MotoGP
  27. Rossi 'very proud' of British Grand Prix win 09:32

    Rossi 'very proud' of British Grand Prix win

    Yamaha's Valentino Rossi described himself as "very proud" after mastering wet conditions to win the British Grand Prix and…

    MotoGP
  28. Video of the Day: Driven by Data - Heat 05:11

    Video of the Day: Driven by Data - Heat

    F1 brakes reach extreme temperatures, as McLaren outlines in the final part of its technical video series.

    F1
  29. 01:16

    Latest IndyCar photos: Sunday at Sonoma

    Indy
  30. Peerless Dixon beats Montoya to IndyCar crown 01:12

    Peerless Dixon beats Montoya to IndyCar crown

    For the fourth time in his storied career, Scott Dixon has won the Verizon IndyCar Series championship, bettering Juan Pablo…

    Indy
  31. Sunday 30 August 2015

  32. Helmet auction to benefit Justin Wilson fund 21:43

    Helmet auction to benefit Justin Wilson fund

    All of the IndyCar drivers in today's season finale have decided to donate their helmets to a large online auction for the…

    Indy
  33. 14:32

    Latest MotoGP photos: Sunday at Silverstone

    MotoGP
  34. Rossi reclaims title lead amid Silverstone drama 14:26

    Rossi reclaims title lead amid Silverstone drama

    Valentino Rossi won a wet and dramatic British Grand Prix to reclaim the title lead from Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo, while…

    MotoGP
  35. Redding to join Pramac Ducati for 2016 11:17

    Redding to join Pramac Ducati for 2016

    Pramac Ducati has confirmed that it has signed British rider Scott Redding for the 2016 MotoGP campaign. Redding made his…

    MotoGP
  36. Räikkönen hopes to be 'in the fight' at Monza 08:22

    Räikkönen hopes to be 'in the fight' at Monza

    Kimi Räikkönen is hopeful that Ferrari will pose a greater challenge to Mercedes at the Italian Grand Prix, despite Monza…

    F1
  37. Video of the Day: Final Formula E test recap 05:24

    Video of the Day: Final Formula E test recap

    Join Formula E presenter Nicki Shields for a closer look at the final pre-season test at Donington Park.

    FE
  38. 00:42

    Latest IndyCar photos: Saturday at Sonoma

    Indy
  39. Power steals pole, Sonoma lap record 00:36

    Power steals pole, Sonoma lap record

    A consistently fast Will Power stole P1 away from Josef Newgarden after time expired in the final IndyCar qualifying of the year…

    Indy
  40. Saturday 29 August 2015

  41. Whiting: In F1, no one day is like another 15:46

    Whiting: In F1, no one day is like another

    In 1988, after a lengthy stint as an engineer at Bernie Ecclestone's Brabham team, Charlie Whiting joined the FIA's technical…

    F1
  42. 15:18

    Latest MotoGP photos: Saturday at Silverstone

    MotoGP
  43. Márquez smashes Silverstone lap record 15:13

    Márquez smashes Silverstone lap record

    Marc Márquez twice broke the lap record during Saturday's qualifying session at Silverstone to secure pole position for the…

    MotoGP
  44. Häkkinen understands Vettel's outburst 13:18

    Häkkinen understands Vettel's outburst

    Double Formula 1 World Champion Mika Häkkinen says he "can understand" why Sebastian Vettel hit out at tyre supplier Pirelli…

    F1
  45. Lorenzo stays on top in third session 10:52

    Lorenzo stays on top in third session

    Jorge Lorenzo remained on top with a blistering late effort during Saturday's third practice session for the British Grand Prix…

    MotoGP
more news