F1 2017 Bahrain Grand Prix qualifying result: Lewis Hamilton misses out on pole position

PUBLISHED: 19:20 15 April 2017 | UPDATED: 19:46 15 April 2017

Lewis Hamilton talks to the press ahead of the 2017 Bahrain Grand Prix [Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd]

Lewis Hamilton talks to the press ahead of the 2017 Bahrain Grand Prix [Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd]

Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton missed out on a third successive pole position this season in qualifying for the 2017 Bahrain Grand Prix but will still start the Sakhir race from the front row.

The 32-year-old F1 Mercedes driver from Hertfordshire was beaten to pole by Silver Arrows colleague Valtteri Bottas in only his third race for the team since replacing world champion Nico Rosberg.

The flying Finn clocked a Q3 lap of 1m 28.769s to deny Hamilton a hat-trick of 2017 poles by 0.023s in the provisional qualifying results.

Hamilton still beat the challenge presented by Ferrari as Mercedes completed a front row lockout in Bahrain.

Three-time world champion Hamilton recorded a time of 1m 28.792s to take second place on the Bahrain grid ahead of Sebastian Vettel.

Hamilton congratulated his Mercedes mate afterwards.

On his Instagram page, Lewis posted a picture of himself with Bottas and Vettel with the message: “A big congratulations to Valtteri on his first pole!! A big moment for him. Looking forward to a challenging race tomorrow in the desert heat! #repost @f1 @mercedesamgf1”

Red Bull Racing driver Daniel Ricciardo will line-up on the second row alongside Vettel in fourth place, with Kimi Raikkonen fifth on the grid for Ferrari and Max Verstappen sixth quickest in qualifying.

Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg, Williams driver Felipe Massa, Haas man Romain Grosjean and Jolyon Palmer in the second Renault completed the qualifying top 10.

Both Mercedes drivers completed a single run in Q1 on Soft tyres, a single run on the SuperSoft in Q2, then two runs on the SuperSoft in Q3 as Bottas claimed his first F1 career pole position at the Bahrain International Circuit.

He said: “I’m really happy with my first Formula One pole. It’s my fifth season in the sport now, so it took a few races.

“But we got it and hopefully it is the first of many. It feels good. I didn’t realise it’d been nearly 10 years since a Finn was last on pole.

“I’m very proud as always to drive for Finland and represent my country.”

Valtteri Bottas ahead of the 2017 Bahrain Grand Prix [Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd] Valtteri Bottas ahead of the 2017 Bahrain Grand Prix [Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd]

Of his hot lap in the desert, Bottas said: “It’s not an easy track to get everything right. It’s quite a technical and there are a few tricky corners.

“But I’ve been getting more and more comfortable with the car and managed to get the lap together. Thankfully it was good enough for pole.”

Bottas will have Hamilton alongside him on the front row for his maiden pole.

“I just want to say a big thanks to the team for giving me this car,” said Bottas.

Valtteri Bottas took pole position in qualifying for the 2017 Bahrain Grand Prix [Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd] Valtteri Bottas took pole position in qualifying for the 2017 Bahrain Grand Prix [Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd]

“It’s great that we’re both starting from the front row.

“We’ve done a really good job this weekend to focus on the evening conditions and really maximise the lap time in the car.

“We’ll enjoy this for a short period of time – but the main focus is the race tomorrow.

“There is no point to start dreaming just yet. It’s all about getting the maximum out of the race. As a team we can be really strong tomorrow.”

Valtteri Bottas claimed his maiden Formula One pole position in qualifying for the 2017 Bahrain Grand Prix ahead of Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari rival Sebastian Vettel [Picture: Wolfgang Wilhelm for Daimler AG] Valtteri Bottas claimed his maiden Formula One pole position in qualifying for the 2017 Bahrain Grand Prix ahead of Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari rival Sebastian Vettel [Picture: Wolfgang Wilhelm for Daimler AG]

Hamilton was quick to admit his Mercedes rival was better in qualifying.

The Stevenage-born racer said: “A big congratulations to Valtteri. He’s been working so hard and he’s gelled so well with the team.

“Today he was just quicker than me and did the better job, so hats off to him on his first pole.

“My lap felt great but it was so close out there. I was losing quite a bit of time through the first sector, which is unusual as it’s usually a very strong sector for me.

“Overall it was a great battle and that’s exactly how close qualifying should always be. It forces us to be on the absolute limit.”

Hamilton added: “I’m happy with the job I did and it’s great for the team to lockout our first front row.

Today we had a bit of a margin over the Ferraris but generally in race trim they seem to be a bit quicker, so we expect them to be closer tomorrow.

“It’s definitely going to be tight. Looking after the tyres is difficult, so whether it is a one or two stop race will be interesting to see. Hopefully we’ll have a great battle tomorrow.”

Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton after claiming a Mercedes front-row lockout in qualifying for the 2017 Bahrain Grand Prix [Picture: Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd] Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton after claiming a Mercedes front-row lockout in qualifying for the 2017 Bahrain Grand Prix [Picture: Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd]

Toto Wolff, head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport, was delighted at claiming a one-two in Bahrain qualifying.

He said: “That’s a fantastic result in a really close qualifying session with some great competition between the drivers. I’m very pleased for Valtteri.

“It was a tough race last weekend in China but he has been chipping away at his qualifying performances and he did a great job this evening, finding the last few hundredths on his second run in Q3.

“As for Lewis, he couldn’t quite improve on that final run – but for the first time this season we have both cars on the front row of the grid.

“The gap to Ferrari looks pretty good here but their drivers were complaining of understeer, so perhaps they have gone with more of a race set-up in mind.

“And then there’s Red Bull. You always have to have them on the radar because they have all the resources they need to be fighting at the front.

“Tomorrow’s race will be all about surviving on the tyres and making the right decisions in terms of strategy.

“We’re starting from the best possible positions and we now need to get the heads down and work hard to convert it into podium finishes tomorrow.”

Lewis Hamilton points to Valtteri Bottas after the Mercedes new boy claimed his first pole position [Picture: Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd] Lewis Hamilton points to Valtteri Bottas after the Mercedes new boy claimed his first pole position [Picture: Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd]

James Allison, the team’s technical director, added: “It’s lovely to have a front-row lockout and it’s a great reward to Valtteri for three excellent laps in qualifying today. We are all really happy.

“The gap to Ferrari is a little larger than in the first two races but rather than being surprised we’re just grateful for that small bit of breathing space.

“It will be different again tomorrow when everyone has their cars full of fuel – then we are sure to have our work cut out.

“We’re expecting the weather to change a fair bit for tomorrow, both windier and cooler. But it will be normal fare for Bahrain – tough on the brakes, tough on the drivers. It’ll be a long, hard toil, but hopefully we’ll end up at the front. It’s going to be super tight.”

Related articles

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Welwyn Hatfield Times visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Welwyn Hatfield Times staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Welwyn Hatfield Times account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More news stories

18:54

Rush-hour traffic near Potters Bar this evening has been disrupted by a broken down lorry on the M25 motorway,

18:01

Welwyn Hatfield MP Grant Shapps launched an outspoken attack on his own party’s General Election campaign on national radio this morning.

EastEnders star Jake Wood visited a Welwyn Garden City-based charity ahead of his celebrity boxing fundraiser later this year.

A 71-year-old pilot from Welwyn Garden City who died when his light aircraft crashed in a field near Walkern has been named.

Most read stories

Most commented stories

Local business directory

Hertfordshire's trusted business finder
HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Welwyn Hatfield Times e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter