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Vettel beats Massa to Bahrain pole 13 Mar 2010

Qualifying parc ferme (L to R): Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari, second; Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing, pole position; Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari, third.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 1, Bahrain Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Saturday, 13 March 2010 Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes GP 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 1, Bahrain Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Saturday, 13 March 2010 Vitaly Petrov (RUS) Renault R30 leads Kamui Kobayashi (JPN) BMW Sauber C29.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 1, Bahrain Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Saturday, 13 March 2010 Bruno Senna (BRA) Hispania Racing F1 Team (HRT) HRTF1.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 1, Bahrain Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Saturday, 13 March 2010 Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren MP4/25.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 1, Bahrain Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Saturday, 13 March 2010

Sebastian Vettel showed that Red Bull have the fastest Formula One car at the moment after the fight for pole position for the Bahrain Grand Prix with the Ferraris of Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso ended in his favour by 0.141s.

Vettel was in excellent form, and used Bridgestone’s softer tyre to record 1m 54.101s in the final, Q3, session. Massa, also on the softer tyre, got closest with 1m 54.242s, with his new Ferrari team mate Alonso third on 1m 54.608s.

It was an interesting session, which suggested that McLaren are a long way off the ultimate pace as Lewis Hamilton’s fourth best time was 1m 55.217s. It was also a disappointment for Mercedes GP, after Nico Rosberg had been so quick thus far, to see him only fifth on 1m 55.241s. The young German has had the upper hand over returnee Michael Schumacher all weekend, the multiple champion lining up seventh on 1m 55.524s. Mark Webber slipped his Red Bull between them, with 1m 55.284s.

Jenson Button starts his first race for McLaren eighth, thanks to a lap of 1m 55.672s, and Renault’s Robert Kubica shares the fifth row with Force India’s Adrian Sutil, 1m 55.885s to 1m 56.309s.

Rubens Barrichello came to life on Saturday after working yesterday to get his Williams to his liking, and just missed out on Q3 with 1m 55.330s, which put him ahead of Force India's Vitantonio Liuzzi who failed to improve on his 1m 55.653s lap from his first run in Q2.

Then came Nico Hulkenberg in the second Williams on 1m 55.857s, Pedro de la Rosa in the disappointing BMW Sauber on 1m 56.237s, Sebastien Buemi in the lead Toro Rosso on 1m 56.265s, BMW Sauber’s Kamui Kobayashi on 1m 56.270s and Vitaly Petrov who will make his Grand Prix debut from 17th on the grid in the second Renault, which he took round in 1m 56.619s.

Having run well thus far this weekend, Jaime Alguersuari was the first man to lose out in Q1, when he lapped his Toro Rosso in 1m 57.071s for 18th fastest time, ahead of all the new teams. Timo Glock’s Virgin was the best of them, with 1m 59.728s, ahead of Jarno Trulli’s Lotus on 1m 59.852s, so things were very close here.

Then came Heikki Kovalainen in 2m 00.313s in the other Lotus and Lucas di Grassi on 2m 00.587s for Virgin. At the back Bruno Senna took his HRT round in 2m 03.240s, while Karun Chandhok finally got a run and in the circumstances did an excellent job for 2m 04.904s in only seven laps.