As predicted, it was a Mercedes front-row lock out, with Lewis Hamilton taking his second consecutive pole ahead of teammate Nico Rosberg by setting the fastest ever lap around the Bahrain International Circuit in what was yet another farcical display of the live elimination qualifying format. The drivers and teams bosses will hope that good sense prevails from the next round.
The Ferrari's of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen will line up on the second row of the grid and the Silver Arrows team will be wary of another fast start from the Red cars like they did at the season opening Grand Prix in Australia.
Daniel Riccardo put in another impressive drive to finish ahead of the Williams duo of Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa to claim fifth, while Nico Hulkenberg rounded off the top eight in the final session of qualifying.
The big shock of the day was when Stoffel Vandoorne, who has taken over driving duties at McLaren-Honda in place of the injured Fernando Alonso, out-qualified his more experienced teammate Jenson Button. He will start in 12th place, while the 2009 World Champion will start in 14th.
The Ferrari's could have the race pace to challenge the Mercedes duo tomorrow, as they demonstrated in Australia when Vettel lead for most of the race, but it will all depend on the start.
Where to watch live
The race starts at 4pm BSTon 3 April, with Sky Sports F1 and Sky Sports F1 HD providing live TV coverage.
Real-time internet updates are available on the Live Timing section of the sport's official website.
Results of qualifying session from the Bahrain International Circuit:
|5||DANIEL RICCIARDO||RED BULL RACING|
|8||NICO HULKENBERG||FORCE INDIA|
|10||MAX VERSTAPPEN||TORO ROSSO|
|11||CARLOS SAINZ||TORO ROSSO|
|15||DANIIL KVYAT||RED BULL RACING|
|18||SERGIO PEREZ||FORCE INDIA|
**Kevin Magnussen will start the race from the pits after failing to stop in the pits for a mandatory weight check.