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Nico Rosberg secures pole for Mercedes in Spain

Rosberg will start in pole position for Sunday's Spanish GP. Credit: PA

Nico Rosberg finally got the better of Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton as he sealed pole position at the Spanish Grand Prix.

Reigning champion Hamilton had taken four poles out of four so far this season, with title rival Rosberg trailing in his wake - but the 30-year-old had to settle for second best in Barcelona as he could not match the German's lap of one minute 24.681 seconds.

Sebastien Vettel was again the best of the rest and will start third for Ferrari as he was the only other man to get within a second of compatriot Rosberg.

Qatar Formula One race unlikely, says Ecclestone

Bernie says no to Qatar race. Credit: PA

Qatar's hopes of joining the Formula One calendar in the near future appear to have receded after commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone indicated he was unlikely to add a third Middle Eastern race to the schedule just yet.

"I think we've got enough here, don't you?" the Briton told reporters at the Bahrain Grand Prix when asked about the possibility of a race in Doha. Media reports have suggested that Qatar was close to signing a deal for a street race, possibly as early as next year.

Ecclestone confirmed last year that talks had taken place with the Qataris for a race that some reports have suggested would pay out 50 million pounds ($74.77 million) a year in hosting fees.

However, the Briton told reporters last December that Bahrain, who hosted the first race in the region in 2004, effectively had a veto on any new races that could overshadow theirs.

"I made a deal with the people in Bahrain and they said, 'If we are going to be something new in this area, which we are, will you give us a guarantee you won't put another race on in the area, in the Gulf?'," he said then.

Lewis Hamilton wins Bahrain Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton's domination of Formula One continued in Bahrain as the reigning world champion clinched his ninth victory in the past 11 races.

Hamilton made it two wins in a row in Bahrain. Credit: PA

As in China a week ago it was another masterful, controlled drive from Hamilton who has now set a personal best record of finishing in the points for 11 consecutive grands prix.

Overall, Hamilton now has 36 career wins, with 21 of those from pole position to open up a 27-point cushion over Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg, who had to settle for third behind Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen.

It was Raikkonen's seventh podium in Bahrain, with the Finn runner-up now on four occasions, but with this his first top-three finish since the 2013 Korean Grand Prix.

Hamilton finished a comfortable 3.3 seconds clear of Raikkonen, who made his way past Rosberg on lap 56 of the 57 under the lights of the Bahrain International Circuit courtesy of a mistake from the German who seemingly had trouble with his brakes late on.

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Jenson Button fails to make it onto grid in Bahrain

Jenson Button's wretched Bahrain Grand Prix weekend concluded even before the race started.

Button didn't even make it out onto the grid. Credit: Reuters

After incurring issues in both practice sessions on Friday, and again in qualifying on Saturday, Button's car failed to even make it out of the McLaren garage for the race at the Bahrain International Circuit.

Button was scheduled to start 20th and last after an electrical problem brought his qualifying to a halt after just three corners of his opening lap.

Despite his team of mechanics working feverishly to fix the problem, data materialised ahead of the evening event showing an issue still unresolved that could be traced back to the ongoing electrical problems.

With no guarantees the issue would not reoccur, on that basis it was determined the car would not be readied to start the race.

Lewis Hamilton on pole and feeling 'great'

Lewis Hamilton feels "a nice, calm approach" and a "beast" of a car has helped him become master of qualifying so far thisFormula One season.

Hamilton is feeling 'great' and why shouldn't he be? Credit: Reuters

After being out-qualified 11-7 by Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg last year, the reigning champion has moved up a gear this term.

Under the myriad of lights at the Bahrain International Circuit, no-one could hold a candle to Hamilton as he grabbed the 42nd pole of his F1 career.

"I feel great, very happy," Hamilton said.

Coming into the weekend the target was to master this track, to get the car into an area I'd be comfortable with, and that generally is how the weekend has gone.

I'm really grateful to have this beast under me, to be able to really attack the corners, whereas last year I wasn't comfortable with the car, so it's a great feeling.

– Lewis Hamilton
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