MANAMA, April 15 (Reuters) - Finland’s Valtteri Bottas took his first Formula One pole position at the Bahrain Grand Prix on Saturday to end Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton’s bid for a seventh in a row.
Triple world champion Hamilton qualified alongside, a mere 0.023 slower than Bottas’s lap of one minute 28.769 seconds, to secure the first front row lockout of the season for the reigning champions.
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, joint leader of the world championship standings with Hamilton after two races, will start in third place with Red Bull’s Australian Daniel Ricciardo fourth.
Mercedes, who won the race last year with now-retired champion Nico Rosberg, have taken five successive poles at the desert Sakhir circuit. (Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Ed Osmond)