Qualifying for the Bahrain Grand Prix is over and there’s a new man leading the pack – to the delight of a former Mercedes driver. The Grand Prix is the third race of the 2017 season.Finland’s Valtteri Bottas secured his first ever Formula One pole position on Saturday, beating Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton to top spot on the grid for the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Triple world champion Hamilton was just 0.023 slower than Bottas’s lap of 1 minute 28.769 seconds to secure the first front row lockout of the season for the reigning champions.
“Congrats Valtteri Bottas 1st pole! Great lap. Happy for all you guys at merc that Valtteri is going well,” tweeted Nico Rosberg, whose decision to retire after winning the 2016 world title led Bottas to Mercedes this season.
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, joint leader with Hamilton after two races, will start in third place. Red Bull’s Australian Daniel Ricciardo qualified fourth.
Mercedes, who won the race last year with Rosberg, have taken five successive poles in Bahrain.
jh/dv (Reuters, AFP)