German Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel on Saturday secured the first pole of the season when he topped qualifying for Sunday’s Bahrain Grand Prix in Sakhir.
Vettel, who last year finished runner-up in the drivers’ championships, posted a time of one minute 54.101 seconds for the 6.299 kilometres-long course.
Vettel will start the race alongside the Ferrari of Felipe Massa, who was .141 seconds behind.
The second row on the grid belongs to former world champions Fernando Alonso in the other Ferrari and Lewis Hamilton.
Schumacher to start from seventh
Nico Rosberg in a Mercedes GP managed to beat his teammate Michael Schumacher in qualifying.
The seven-time world champion, who has returned to the sport after coming out of retirement, will start from seventh, while Rosberg had the fifth-fastest time. Mark Webber in the second Red Bull pushed himself between the two Mercedes drivers.
The top ten is completed by Jenson Button in a McLaren, Renault driver Robert Kubica and Adrian Sutil in a Force India.
Chandhok to start from last position
Not surprisingly, the three new teams struggled, with all six drivers being eliminated in the first round of qualifying, with the two HRTs of Bruno Senna and Karun Chandhok starting from second-last and last position respectively.