F1: Ferrari (NYSE:RACE) In High Power Mode at Bahrain

F1: Ferrari (NYSE:RACE) In High Power Mode at Bahrain

Sebastian Vettel and his Ferrari came alive Saturday evening as the German recorded a brutalizing lap of 1:27:958 to take his first pole of the season for Sunday's Grand Prix of Bahrain at the Bahrain International Circuit.

But as it worked out neither of the Mercedes cars could get the better of a strong Ferrari, and team-mate Bottas jumped Hamilton in Q3 to take third place, leaving Hamilton languishing back in ninth place on the grid for tomorrow's race from his fourth place qualifying.

Remarkably, Ricciardo then pulled up on the same lap after losing all power, leaving Red Bull to pack up their garage with the race having barely got under way. Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) +0.143s 3. Raikkonen was given the signal to leave the pits when only three of his tyres had been replaced.

The mechanic was taken away on a stretcher and is being examined at the time of writing. "It's going to be a close race". But although the race opened as expected, it became increasingly tense as it progressed.

Bottas finally got within DRS range starting the penultimate lap, and he had a look into Turn 1 on the final lap but was too far back and didn't fully commit, allowing Vettel to cling on for a tense victory. The victor in Bahrain has started on pole on five of the past 13 occasions. The British driver was then lucky to escape damage after a charging Max Verstappen came up the inside of turn one.

The Haas team is meanwhile out for redemption after botching pitstops of Kevin Magnussen and Romain grosjean within a few minutes as they were running fourth and fifth respectively in Melbourne. It was bravura stuff but Vettel was already 14 seconds clear up the road.

Montreal's Lance Stroll will start in 20th place at Sunday's Bahrain Grand Prix.

The surprise of the weekend has to be Pierre Gasly of Toro-Rosso Honda who managed to snatch the sixth place on the grid.

Sebastian Vettel, victor in Australia and last year in Bahrain, was fifth quickest ahead of last year's pole-sitter Valtteri Bottas who was sixth for Mercedes.

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton. The Dane was almost taken out by his teammate Romain Grosjean at Turn 1 after his pit-stop and then spent a lap bottled up behind him - leading to several bleeps of the TV world feed censor over the radio. Vettel pitted in the early stages to switch to softs, followed by Raikkonen in the next lap. The German had been expecting a two-stopper and had to adapt to the new scenario mid-race.

"The Ferrari was quicker today", said Bottas. Hamilton's problem was caused by a hydraulic leak sustained in Australia.

The German, victor a year ago on this circuit, lapped the 5.4-km Sakhir track in a time of one minute 27.958 seconds on Saturday, edging Raikkonen by a margin of 0.143 seconds.