Sebastian Vettel takes pole position for Bahrain GP ahead of Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel in action at the Bahrain Grand Prix, where he will start the race in pole position. (REUTERS)
Updated 07 April 2018
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Sebastian Vettel takes pole position for Bahrain GP ahead of Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen

SAKHIR, Bahrain: Sebastian Vettel took pole position for the Bahrain Grand Prix followed by Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen on Saturday.
World champion Lewis Hamilton could only manage fourth, and will start from ninth on Sunday after incurring a grid penalty.
Raikkonen looked like he was going to get his first pole since last year’s Monaco GP, but Vettel beat his time right at the end of qualifying under floodlights to clinch his 51st pole.
“It was quite intense,” Vettel said. “The car has been excellent all weekend.”
Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas was third.
“It’s disappointing for us not to be on the front row,” Bottas said.
Ferrari’s evening got even better when Hamilton finished behind Bottas, his teammate. Hamilton’s five-place grid penalty is because he needed a gearbox change on Friday.
“Hopefully Lewis can come back and put some pressure on these guys,” Bottas said.
Drivers must use gearboxes for six consecutive races before being allowed a new one. Hamilton’s problem was caused by a hydraulic leak sustained during the season-opening Australian GP two weeks ago.
Vettel, last year’s championship runner-up, has a golden chance to extend his overall lead. The German driver won in Melbourne — his 48th career win and 100th podium — with Hamilton finishing second after his team made an error of judgment during Vettel’s pitstop.
Daniel Ricciardo qualified fifth on Saturday but his Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen managed only 15th after crashing in Q1.
It was a clumsy error from the 20-year-old Verstappen.
Heading into turn 2, he slid sideways off and thudded into the crash barriers, the left front wheel of his car mangled. It has been a poor start to the season from Verstappen. He span his car after pushing too hard early on in Melbourne two weeks ago and finished sixth.
At the start of qualifying, Romain Grosjean (Haas), Lance Stroll and Sergey Sirotkin (both Williams), Marcus Ericsson and Charles Leclerc (both Sauber) were eliminated from Q1.
New Zealand driver Brendon Hartley complained about damage to his left front wing and soon find out why: he had hit a bird. He’d done enough to make it into Q2, however.
Hartley, Verstappen and Force India’s Sergio Perez were then eliminated from Q2, along with Fernando Alonso and his McLaren teammate Stoffel Vandoorne.
It was a blow to McLaren, after both drivers finished the race in Melbourne in the top 10, with Alonso in fifth place.
McLaren entered the season with high hopes after switching to Renault engines, following three troublesome seasons with Honda. But Toro Rosso chose to work with the Japanese engine supplier and both of their drivers did better in qualifying than McLaren.
Earlier, Raikkonen posted the fastest time in the third and final practice.
Hamilton expressed his annoyance over team radio as he came into the pit lane after P3, saying spectators got too close to his Mercedes.
“Who were those people on the left-hand side?” the British driver said. “I was coming in at some speed, I could have killed them.”
It was a frustrating day for Hamilton, who is vying with Vettel for a fifth world title to move level with Argentine great Juan Manuel Fangio.


England’s Oliver Fisher cards first 59 in European Tour history

Updated 40 min 45 sec ago
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England’s Oliver Fisher cards first 59 in European Tour history

  • The 30-year-old tapped in for par on the final hole to complete an astonishing 12-under-par round featuring 10 birdies and an eagle
  • Fisher, who was regarded as a possible future star as a teenage amateur, is ranked down at 287 in the world and had missed 11 cuts in his 22 previous events

VILAMOURA: Unheralded Englishman Oliver Fisher fired the first round of 59 in the European Tour’s 46-year history on a remarkable second day of the Portugal Masters on Friday.
The 30-year-old tapped in for par on the final hole to complete an astonishing 12-under-par round featuring 10 birdies and an eagle, after his long birdie putt for a 58 grazed the edge of the hole.
“It feels great, I started great and I kept it going,” Fisher said. “Just pleased I two-putted from 40 feet on the final green.”
Fisher, who was regarded as a possible future star as a teenage amateur, is ranked down at 287 in the world and had missed 11 cuts in his 22 previous events this season.
He also had to battle to save his tour card at the same tournament two years ago, but scaled heights that thousands of players had failed to reach before with his efforts on Friday.
“Two years ago I was on the same green just trying to keep my card, so I was keeping that in the back of my mind and trying to remember that it could be worse,” he added.
Fisher’s round gave him the clubhouse lead on 12-under for the tournament, with the majority of players still on the course.
Two other men had come close to the magical number at the Portugal Masters, with Scott Jamieson and Nicolas Colsaerts both missing putts to break 60 in 2013 and 2014 respectively.