Hamilton claims back-to-back Bahrain poles

Formula 1’s new elimination qualifying failed to shine under the lights in Bahrain as Lewis Hamilton pipped Nico Rosberg to pole position by 0.077s.

Despite promises to revert back to the 2015 qualifying format, Formula 1 pressed on with the new elimination system at the Sakhir circuit on Saturday.

And while the cars make look fantastic under lights, qualifying failed to glitter as brightly.

READ MORE: Bahrain qualifying as it happened

Nico Rosberg, who set the pace in Friday’s practices, was without a doubt the driver to beat as he posted a 1:29.897 on his first run.

Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Raikkonen and Lewis Hamilton, who ran wide at the final corner, lined up behind him.

Behind them Daniel Ricciardo, Valtteri Bottas, Felipe Massa and Nico Hulkenberg all sat in the pits as they were counted out; qualifying P5 to P8.

However unlike in Australia, both Mercedes and Ferraris ventured out for a second run as they vyed for pole position.

Hamilton went purple in all three sectors to slide into the P1 slot with a 1:29.493. Rosberg crossed the line after his team-mate but fell short by 0.077s.

Vettel finished in third place, 0.519s down, while Raikkonen will join his Ferrari team-mate on the second row of the grid.

And although qualifying was by no means a thriller, there were some highlights.

Romain Grosjean qualified in ninth place, missing out on a spot in Q3 by 0.15s; Stoffel Vandoorne out-paced Jenson Button on his debut to qualify P12 to the Brit’s P14 while Manor’s Pascal Wehrlein was the big surprise.

He qualified P16 on Saturday night, beating both Renaults, Saubers and even a Force India.

Times
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:29.493
2 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:29.570
3 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:30.012
4 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:30.244
5 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:30.854
6 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:31.153
7 Felipe Massa Williams 1:31.155
8 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:31.620
9 Romain Grosjean Haas 1:31.756
10 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso 1:31.772
11 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso 1:31.816
12 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren 1:31.934
13 Esteban Gutierrez Haas 1:31.945
14 Jenson Button McLaren 1:31.998
15 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull 1:32.241
16 Pascal Wehrlein Manor 1:32.806
17 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1:32.840
18 Sergio Perez Force India 1:32.911
19 Kevin Magnussen Renault 1:33.181
20 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1:33.438
21 Rio Haryanto Manor 1:34.190
22 Felipe Nasr Sauber 1:34.388

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