Formula One championship points leader Nico Rosberg of Germany has put Mercedes on pole for Sunday's Bahrain Grand Prix. It is the German driver's fifth career pole and his first of the season.
Rosberg's pole-taking performance on Saturday, prevented his Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton from completing a hat-trick, but ensured a Mercedes lockout on the front row.
Rosberg, who leads the the world championship field after two races this season, clocked one minute 33.185 seconds to edge Hamilton, who started first in Australia and Malaysia, into second place.
Mercedes will be seeking its third consecutive success on Sunday after Rosberg opened the season with a win in Australia, followed by Hamilton's victory in Malaysia last weekend.
Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo was third fastest, but he will be demoted 10 places on Sunday's grid after being punished for a pit-lane offence in Malaysia.
Vettel to start in 10th
This means that Red Bull's defending four-time Formula One champion Sebastian Vettel, who did not even make the final session of qualifying, moves up one place to start from 10th on the grid at the Sakhir track.
Ricciardo's penalty results in a second row featuring Finland's Valtteri Bottas in a Williams and Mexico's Sergio Perez of Force India.
tj/ipj (AP, Reuters, AFP)