19 Apr 2015

Hamilton takes desert pole from Vettel

2:34 pm on 19 April 2015

Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton expects resurgent Ferrari to be hard to beat in Monday's Bahrain Grand Prix and Sebastian Vettel hopes to prove him right.

Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.

Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

After the pair qualified on the front row, with Hamilton on pole for the fourth race in succession for Mercedes, Vettel told reporters his Italian team had taken another important step.

"We are trying to push on all areas but for now I think we can be very, very happy with where we are," said the four-times champion, who has been on the podium in all three races for Ferrari since he left Red Bull.

"Today is the first time we were able to split them (the Mercedes drivers) in true dry conditions in qualifying, so very happy."

Hamilton's team mate Nico Rosberg qualified third, with Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen fourth.

It could turn out instead to be a repeat of last month's Malaysian Grand Prix where the front row was the same, and Rosberg also qualified third, but Vettel won with better tyre management and strategy.

"We've gone over it tons of times already about what we have learned, but it doesn't get us away from the fact that they are very quick this weekend," said Hamilton.

"They are going to be very hard to beat tomorrow, they have great race pace."

Vettel, sitting alongside in a news conference, could only agree.

"I hope he's right," the German said.