Lewis Hamilton predicts close Bahrain GP race between Mercedes and Ferrari

Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes walks in the paddock during previews to the Spanish Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit de Catalunya on May 12, 2016
© Getty Images
Lewis Hamilton admits that he does not expect Mercedes to be able to maintain their qualifying superiority over Ferrari at the Bahrain GP.

Lewis Hamilton has claimed that Mercedes will be pushed all the way by Ferrari on race day at the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Mercedes duo Valtteri Bottas and Hamilton were almost half a second clear of Sebastian Vettel in qualifying in the desert - the biggest margin of the year.

The world champions have taken pole for all three races in 2017 so far, but Hamilton claims that it will not be so easy in the race proper.

He told Sky Sports News: "I think the Ferraris are very quick on race trim so hopefully it will be very close. [On Saturday] we obviously had a bit of a margin to the Ferraris, but generally in race trim they seem a bit quicker."

Pole position for the Bahrain GP has been taken by Bottas - the first of his career.

Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes celebrates his win on the podium during the Canadian Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on June 12, 2016
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TeamPoints
1Ferrari102
2Mercedes99
3Red Bull47
4Force India17
5Williams-Mercedes16
6Toro Rosso12
7Haas8
8Renault2
9Sauber0
10McLaren0
DriversTeamPoints
1Sebastian VettelFerrari68
2Lewis HamiltonMercedes61
3Valtteri BottasMercedes38
4Kimi RaikkonenFerrari34
5Max VerstappenRed Bull25
6Daniel RicciardoRed Bull22
7Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes16
8Sergio PerezForce India14
9Carlos SainzToro Rosso10
10Kevin MagnussenHaas4
11Romain GrosjeanHaas4
12Esteban OconForce India3
13Nico HulkenbergRenault2
14Daniil KvyatToro Rosso2
15Fernando AlonsoMcLaren0
16Marcus EricssonSauber0
17Antonio GiovinazziSauber0
18Jolyon PalmerRenault0
19Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren0
20Pascal WehrleinSauber0
21Lance StrollWilliams-Mercedes0