Live Commentary: Qualifying: Bahrain Grand Prix - as it happened

Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel enters turn two during qualifiying for the Australian Grand Prix on March 17, 2013
© AP Photos
Sports Mole brings you live coverage of qualifying for the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Everyone has their eyes on Sebastian Vettel's Red Bull ahead of qualifying for the Bahrain Grand Prix, but it was Nico Rosberg who came out of nowhere to grab pole position for Mercedes.

The German managed to finish second, ahead of Ferrari's Fernando Alonso in third place.

Lewis Hamilton and Mark Webber finished fourth and fifth respectively, but a five-place demotion for the Mercedes man and a three-place penalty for the Australian sees them drop down the grid.

You can read how Rosberg took the second pole of his career below.


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12.16pmGood afternoon. Welcome to Sports Mole for live coverage of the qualifying session for the Bahrain Grand Prix.

12.18pmQ1 is underway and Fernando Alonso is on top of the standings. Charles Pic, Jules Bianchi, Max Chilton and Giemo van der Garde are all in the knockout zone.

12.19pmDaniel Ricciardo and Pastor Maldonado have also joined those drivers currently in the drop zone. Lewis Hamilton has already received a five-place grid penalty for a change of gearbox.

12.21pmTime is up for Q1. Alonso is on top, with Vettel, Rosberg, Grosjean, Hamilton, Di Resta, Massa, Raikkonen, Webber and Sutil completing the top 10.

12.23pmDRIVERS KNOCKED OUT: Maldonado, Gutierrez, Pic, Bianchi, Van der Garde, Chilton.

12.26pmIt has not been a great session for Pastor Maldonado, who exits Q1 yet again. We're about to get the green light for Q2, so who will be in the top-10 shootout?

12.28pmMark Webber is the first man out of the trap for Q2 on the medium compound tyres. He is followed by his teammate Sebastian Vettel.

12.32pmThe Marussia garage have got the fire extinguishers out for Jules Bianchi's car. The cause isn't clear at the moment, but the same car has a fuel vapour fire this morning, so there's a few problems there it seems.

12.34pmVettel was the fastest of the early starters, but Di Resta has just set a rapid lap to go top. Those two are followed by Webber, Raikkonen, Sutil, Hulkenberg, Ricciardo and Vergne.

12.36pmAlonso has now set the quickest lap with just over six minutes of Q2 remaining. Ricciardo, Bottas and Vergne are currently in the danger zone.

12.38pmThere was nearly a coming together there between Hulkenberg and Massa. The Ferrari just dawdled slightly as the German was making his way through. I'm sure the stewards will have a look at that one.

12.39pmRosberg shaves 0.449 of a second off Alonso's time at the top. Brilliant lap.

12.40pmJust over two minutes left now. Button, Perez, Hulkenberg, Ricciardo, Bottas and Vergne the slowest at the moment.

12.41pmThe top four, Rosberg, Alonso, Di Resta and Hamilton, are all in the garage, seemingly content that they'll be in Q3.

12.42pmButton has one lap now to get into Q3. He and his McLaren teammate Sergio Perez are struggling in the knockout zone.

12.44pmSutil's final lap is good enough for a place in the top-10 shootout, as is Button's. However, Perez has been unable to get out of the knockout zone and drops out. His disappointing season continues here in Bahrain.

12.45pmDRIVERS KNOCKED OUT: Grosjean, Perez, Ricciardo, Hulkenberg, Bottas, Vergne.

12.47pmVettel, Rosberg, Webber, Raikkonen, Alonso, Di Resta, Hamilton, Massa Sutil and Button will contest the top-10 shootout.

12.49pmButton was heard celebrating on team radio after scraping through into Q3. It's a sign of the struggles McLaren have had at the start of this season.

12.51pmThe lights go green for the start of Q3. The cars are straight out, headed by Paul di Resta.

12.55pmThere's still six cars yet to come out and set a time. Those out early are also back in the garage now. Slightly similar circumstances to last week, where the drivers were trying to save their tyres.

12.57pmOf those that came out, Rosberg was the fastest. Alonso, Hamilotn and Di Resta came next. The Force India was quite a bit off the pace, though.

12.59pmAll 10 cars are now on the track with over one minute remaining.

1.01pmThe chequered flag is out. Rosberg is the one on top, followed by Alonso, Hamilton and Webber.

1.02pmNICO ROSBERG WILL START ON POLE FOR THE BAHRAIN GRAND PRIX

1.03pmGreat effort from the German! Vettel could only manage second, while Alonso ended up third. So Mercedes and Red Bull will start on the front of the grid, with Ferrari third.

1.04pmTOP 10: Rosberg, Vettel, Alonso, Hamilton, Webber, Massa, Di Resta, Sutil, Raikkonen, Button.

1.05pmOf course, factor into that that Hamilton has a five-place grid penalty. So he will start in between Raikkonen and Button. Webber will also be demoted three places, which puts him in between Sutil and Raikkonen.

1.10pmWell that's the end of the qualifying session for the Bahrain Grand Prix, which brings our coverage to an end for today. Thanks for stopping by, and come back tomorrow for what is always an exciting race.

Mark Webber
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TeamPoints
1Mercedes357
2Ferrari318
3Red Bull184
4Force India101
5Williams-Mercedes41
6Toro Rosso39
7Haas29
8Renault26
9McLaren11
10Sauber5
DriversTeamPoints
1Sebastian VettelFerrari202
2Lewis HamiltonMercedes188
3Valtteri BottasMercedes169
4Daniel RicciardoRed Bull117
5Kimi RaikkonenFerrari116
6Max VerstappenRed Bull67
7Sergio PerezForce India56
8Esteban OconForce India45
9Carlos SainzToro Rosso35
10Nico HulkenbergRenault26
11Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes23
12Lance StrollWilliams-Mercedes18
13Romain GrosjeanHaas18
14Kevin MagnussenHaas11
15Fernando AlonsoMcLaren10
16Pascal WehrleinSauber5
17Daniil KvyatToro Rosso4
18Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren1
19Marcus EricssonSauber0
20Jolyon PalmerRenault0
21Antonio GiovinazziSauber0
22Jenson ButtonMcLaren0
23Paul di RestaWilliams-Mercedes0
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