2012 BAHRAIN GP: VETTEL WITH INCREDIBLE POLE

Sebastian Vettel secured pole position for the Bahrain Grand Prix as the improved Red Bull edged out Lewis Hamilton. Vettel and his team-mate Mark Webber had been behind the two McLarens going in to their final laps but as Nico Rosberg faltered, both improved and Vettel's time of 1:32.422 was enough to give him his 31st pole position. Hamilton also improved on his final lap to take second, 0.1s behind Vettel with Webber a similar distance further back.

Red Bull briefly looked set for a front row sweep until points leader Lewis Hamilton got between Vettel and Webber. Despite its practice pace, Shanghai winner Mercedes had a disappointing session. Nico Rosberg could only qualify fifth, and his team-mate Michael Schumacher did not even get beyond Q1.

Jenson Button completes row two in the second McLaren. Rosberg only made one Q3 run and was 0.4 seconds off the pace in fifth. Daniel Ricciardo gave Toro Rosso huge encouragement as he stormed to a career-best sixth on the grid, in front of Romain Grosjean's Lotus and Sergio Perez's Sauber.

Fernando Alonso got Ferrari into the top 10, then elected not to do a Q3 flying lap, as did Paul di Resta - who got Force India into the pole shoot-out despite having missed out on Friday afternoon practice. The pair will share row five, with Alonso five places ahead of Ferrari team-mate Felipe Massa. Schumacher's exit in Q1 was the shock of the session, and was down to both a problem with the Mercedes and a supreme lap from Caterham's Heikki Kovalainen. 

Pos      Driver                Team                Time       Gap   
 1.  Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault       1:32.422  
 2.  Lewis Hamilton        McLaren-Mercedes       1:32.520  + 0.098
 3.  Mark Webber           Red Bull-Renault       1:32.637  + 0.215
 4.  Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes       1:32.711  + 0.289
 5.  Nico Rosberg          Mercedes               1:32.821  + 0.399
 6.  Daniel Ricciardo      Toro Rosso-Ferrari     1:32.912  + 0.490
 7.  Romain Grosjean       Lotus-Renault          1:33.008  + 0.586
 8.  Sergio Perez          Sauber-Ferrari         1:33.394  + 0.972
 9.  Fernando Alonso       Ferrari                No time
10.  Paul di Resta         Force India-Mercedes   No time
Q2  Fastest time: L.Hamilton 1:33.209                         Gap
11.  Kimi Raikkonen        Lotus-Renault          1:33.789  + 0.580
12.  Kamui Kobayashi       Sauber-Ferrari         1:33.806  + 0.597
13.  Nico Hulkenberg       Force India-Mercedes   1:33.807  + 0.598
14.  Felipe Massa          Ferrari                1:33.912  + 0.703
15.  Bruno Senna           Williams-Renault       1:34.017  + 0.808
16.  Heikki Kovalainen     Caterham-Renault       1:36.132  + 2.923
17.  Pastor Maldonado      Williams-Renault       No time  
Q1  Fastest time: M.Webber 1:34.015                           Gap 
18.  Michael Schumacher    Mercedes               1:34.865  + 1.051
19.  Jean-Eric Vergne      Toro Rosso-Ferrari     1:35.014  + 1.200
20.  Vitaly Petrov         Caterham-Renault       1:35.823  + 2.009
21.  Charles Pic           Marussia-Cosworth      1:37.683  + 3.869
22.  Pedro de la Rosa      HRT-Cosworth           1:37.883  + 4.069
23.  Timo Glock            Marussia-Cosworth      1:37.905  + 4.091
24.  Narain Karthikeyan    HRT-Cosworth           1:38.314  + 4.500
* Pastor Maldonado have penaly of 5 grid places for gearbox change