Sebastian Vettel and his Ferrari came alive Saturday evening as the German recorded a brutalizing lap of 1:27:958 to take his first pole of the season for Sunday's Grand Prix of Bahrain at the Bahrain International Circuit.
Reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton showed only the fourth result, and subject to the penalty for an unscheduled replacement of the transmission Briton in the race tomorrow will start ninth.
Lewis Hamilton, who travelled in to the weekend favorite for victory after noticed it sailed off by an illtimed digital safety vehicle two weeks ago at the season-opener at Melbourne, was just fourth fastest, 0.823 minutes away Raikkonen's most useful.
Verstappen had already set a time fast enough to get into Q2, but the vehicle was too damaged to take any further part in the session.
As the Dutchman idled back to the pits, his Red Bull team-mate Ricciardo slowed and stopped at the side of the track.
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"I was doing the maths in the vehicle: 10 laps to go, with that pace he's going to catch me", a relieved Vettel said.
It was still a good recovery for the McLarens to secure double points once again, but the deficit to Toro Rosso will be of concern at a home race of sorts with the team under Bahraini ownership. Everyone else was on the supersofts, with Vettel pumping in a brilliant lap to go quickest. The Scuderia Ferrari driver started the race on pole and continued to hold on to the top spot with a lead of0.699s, resisting the charge from Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas in the final stages. With Toro Rosso powered by the Honda power unit that drew such criticism from McLaren over the past three years, Gasly took to team radio after the race to mock Alonso by echoing his statement in Australia by saying: "Now we can race!" Teammate Brendon Hartley, who damaged his front wing when he hit a bird early in the session, just missed out in 11th.
The Italian team confirmed that the experienced Cigarini had broken his tibia and fibula in the accident when Raikkonen was pulling away after his second pit stop. "But just. There wasn't much.at the end of the straight Valtteri had a bit of a sniff but fortunately he ran out of laps". It was the first time that Gasly, in only his second F1 race, made it to the final session. He was nine seconds behind third-placed Raikkonen and 14 off the lead. Ferrari have won five times and will want to make that six.
Ricciardo was fifth quickest, two-tenths further back.