Bottas beats Hamilton to take pole position at Bahrain GP

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"It was a tough race; I had a good fight with Alonso and Kvyat after the safety auto bunched everyone up, but the couple of touches with Kvyat didn't help things".

Within the team they can definitely see through everything how my performance and how my pace really is. "I had great tyre life in the first stint; we stayed out as long as we could and the safety vehicle played into our hands just when I needed to make a pit stop".

But I don't feel I'm in a rush with everything.

"We know there are still areas where we can improve and that there is more speed to come from this vehicle, but for now it feels good to have both cars in the points for the third race this season".

He is level at the top of the championship standings with Vettel. Bottas has 10 podiums with a best finish of second.

Although not as hot as Friday, drivers still had to deal with track temperatures of 37 degrees Celsius (99 degrees Fahrenheit) on the sweltering hot circuit located in the desert. In an exciting start to the season, both have one win and one second-placed finish each, with Vettel winning in Melbourne and Hamilton responding in Shanghai.

With only a day to go before the start of action tomorrow, Formula 1's star drivers continued to arrive in the Kingdom of Bahrain to get ready for some intense battles. Vettel won in 2012 and 2013 during a glittering run of four straight titles with Red Bull. Hamilton topped Q3 and Q2.

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The team struggled previous year after switching back to Honda engines and it looks like things are getting worse.

Amongst the latest to arrive on the island were three-time Bahrain Grand Prix victor Fernando Alonso, two-time victor Felipe Massa, and youngsters Kevin Magnussen and Pascal Wehrlein.

The Brit's confidence was therefore sky-high at the start of race day and Palmer felt he could be on for a solid points haul here in Bahrain.

Vandoorne starts from 17th, making it unlikely that McLaren will get in the points here.

The Toro Rosso tandem of Daniil Kvyat and Carlos Sainz Jr have expressed their excitement for the big night race ahead at BIC.

In the third and final practice, Verstappen narrowly beat Hamilton - but the 19-year-old Dutchman could not carry that into qualifying.