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PADDOCK PASS: The drivers report back after Hamilton secures a dominant 98th pole position

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Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton silenced any talk that he might be taking his foot off the gas after securing his seventh world title, romping to pole position at the Bahrain Grand Prix with a new track record of 1m 27.264s.

Hamilton’s 98th career pole saw him lap the Bahrain International Circuit 0.289s faster than team mate Valtteri Bottas – while having shone with a session-topping time in Free Practice 3, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was forced back into his now-traditional P3 slot in qualifying, as he ended up 0.414s off Hamilton.

Qualifying report: Hamilton on pole from Bottas as Red Bull lock out the second row in Bahrain

Verstappen’s team mate Alex Albon, meanwhile, recovered superbly from his monster shunt in FP2 yesterday to claim P4, as Red Bull locked out the second row of the grid, with Racing Point’s Sergio Perez and the two Renaults of Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon just behind.

Join Will Buxton as he rounds up all the reaction from qualifying at Bahrain in the video above – or for a podcast version of our post-qualifying Paddock Pass episode, head over to Spotify.

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