Valtteri Bottas brought Lewis Hamilton’s run of pole positions to a halt in Bahrain on Saturday as he claimed the coveted grid slot ahead of his team-mate.
Bottas put his W08 on provisional pole with a 1:28.769 under the lights at the Sakhir circuit.
His P1 came under threat from Hamilton who was up through the first sector.
However, a tardy middle sector cost him and he finished 0.023s behind his team-mate.
It was Bottas’ maiden Formula 1 pole position.
Sebastian Vettel was third fastest for Ferrari, a whopping 0.478s shy of Bottas’ best despite the Scuderia set the pace in Friday’s practices.
Daniel Ricciardo was fourth ahead of Kimi Raikkonen and Max Verstappen.
Nico Hulkenberg, Felipe Massa, Romain Grosjean and Jolyon Palmer completed the top ten.
Carlos Sainz failed to make it out of Q1 as he stopped on the side of the track reporting “no power.” He was P16.
The other big casualty was Sergio Perez as the Force India driver qualified down in 18th place, three-tenths shy of a Q2 berth.
The surprise of the session was Pascal Wehrlein. In his first qualifying as a Sauber driver he made it through the second part of qualifying where he finished P13.
Fernando Alonso made it into Q2 but didn’t run with his McLaren-Honda tyre-less in the garage.
1 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:28.769
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:28.792 0.023
3 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:29.247 0.478
4 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:29.545 0.776
5 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:29.567 0.798
6 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:29.687 0.918
7 Nico Hulkenberg Renault Sport 1:29.842 1.073
8 Felipe Massa Williams 1:30.074 1.305
9 Romain Grosjean Haas 1:30.763 1.994
10 Jolyon Palmer Renault Sport 1:31.074 2.305
11 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:30.923
12 Lance Stroll Williams 1:31.168
13 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber 1:31.414
14 Esteban Ocon Force India 1:31.684
15 Fernando Alonso McLaren no time
16 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso 1:32.118
17 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren 1:32.313
18 Sergio Perez Force India 1:32.318
19 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1:32.543
20 Kevin Magnussen Haas 1:32.900