Mercedes locked out the front row for the Bahrain Grand Prix as Nico Rosberg claimed pole position, qualifying ahead of teammate Lewis Hamilton.

It was Mercedes' third straight pole to start the season but the first for Rosberg, who equalled his father Keke with five career poles. 

Bahrain Grand Prix qualifying results

           Driver               Team

 1   Nico Rosberg      Mercedes
 2   Lewis Hamilton    Mercedes
 3   Daniel Ricciardo   Red Bull
 4   Valtteri Bottas      Williams
 5   Sergio Perez        Force India
 6   Kimi Raikkonen    Ferrari
 7   Jenson Button      McLaren
 8   Felipe Massa        Williams
 9   Kevin Magnussen  McLaren
10  Fernando Alonso   Ferrari

Rosberg's time of 1 minute, 33.185 seconds at the Bahrain International Circuit was a quarter of a second faster than Hamilton, who had to abandon his final flying lap after running wide.

Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo took third 0.866 seconds behind Hamilton.

The top ten

Williams' Valtteri Bottas was fourth ahead of Force India's Sergio Perez, the Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen and McLaren's Jenson Button.

The second Williams of Felipe Massa was eighth, McLaren's Kevin Magnussen was ninth, ahead of Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, who was out-qualified by Raikkonen for the first time this year.

Defending four-time Formula One champion Sebastian Vettel did not even make the final session of qualifying and will start from 10th on the grid, promoted one spot as his Red Bull teammate Daniel Ricciardo gets a 10-place grid penalty.

The world champion failed to get into the top 10 shoot-out as he struggled with a downshift problem and lack of track time following a spin into the gravel in final practice that meant he did not do a qualifying simulation run. 

Source: AP