Lewis Hamilton blamed a poor start to the Austrian Grand Prix for costing him a shot at victory.
The Mercedes man had qualified on pole for the seventh time in eight races but was beaten off the line by team-mate and title rival Nico Rosberg - who then took the chequered flag to close the gap in the championship.
"I had a problem with the revs," said Hamilton.
"I took my foot off the gas and the throttle was still on. It was not the best way to start the race but it is something we will work on to improve on my side of the garage."
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Lewis Hamilton turned it on at the right time to qualify on pole position for the Austrian Grand Prix.
The reigning champion had not topped a session all weekend at the Red Bull Ring but tuned in perfectly to beat Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg into second place - with both drivers spinning on their final attempts.
Hamilton, taking his seventh pole position in eight races this season, set a best time of one minute 08.455 seconds and was two tenths of a second clear of Rosberg - with the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel third.
Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) will start Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix on pole position after finishing fastest in qualifying. His team-mate Nico Rosberg will start second on the grid with Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) third.
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Lewis Hamilton's domination of Formula One continued in Bahrain as the reigning world champion clinched his ninth victory in the past 11 races.
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.
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.
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.
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