Manama (Bahrain), April 21 (IANS) Two-time defending champion Sebastian Vettel will take his first pole position of the Formula One season here at the Bahrain Grand Prix Sunday while Sahara Force India drivers come in at 10th and 13th.
Vettel of Red Bull edged out McLaren's Lewis Hamilton by one-tenth of a second for his 31st career pole. The Briton will for the third time this season start Sunday's race on the front row of the grid.
Vettel has had a difficult time this season in his new car, his best before this day being fifth position.
The German, who set a record last season by qualifying first 15 times, will have teammate Mark Webber in third position ahead McLaren's Jenson Button. Mercedes's Nico Rosberg, who won his first Grand Prix in China last week, and Toro Rosso's Daniel Ricciardo will start in the third row.
Rosberg failed to hold on to the top spot after finishing fastest in the second and third free practice.
Romain Grosjean of Lotus, Sauber's Sergio Perez, Fernando Alonso of Ferrari and Force India's Paul di Resta complete the top 10 qualifiers. Kimi Raikkonen failed to make it to the top 10 after teammate Grosjean pushed him to 11th in the final moments of the second session.
Seven-time World Champion Michael Schumacher was 17th after suffering a rear-wing problem in Q1.
Riccardio (STR-Ferrari) was the surprise package of the day, finishing the qualifying in sixth place.
Alonso messed up the first sector on his first run and thus did not record a Q3 time for Ferrari and so did Resta. Brazilian driver Felipe Massa in the other Ferrari once again had a disappointing day, failing to get into Q3 and finishing 14th behind Force India's Hulkenberg.
India's Narain Karthikeyan in the HRT-Cosworth will start the race in last place.
Meanwhile, president of motorsport's governing body Jean Todt defended the decision to go ahead with the race despite claims of a protester being shot dead in clashes with riot police Friday night.
There was an eerie silence in the paddock after Force India and Sauber teams had trouble on their way back from the track on two different occasions during the week.
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