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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Lewis Hamilton has come under fire for spraying a hostess in the face with champagne at the Chinese Grand Prix on Sunday.
The Mercedes driver celebrated his second victory of the season by popping open the bubbly and directing it at the lady's face.
Roz Hardie, the Chief Executive of 'Object', a group who campaign to eradicate sexism in the media, said:
"Lewis Hamilton should apologise for his actions and think carefully about how he behaves in the future. For most people, it would be apparent that she is not enjoying it."
It's not the first time Hamilton has failed to 'stick a cork in it' on the podium following a race win, having sprayed a hostess in the face after victory in Spain back in May 2014.
Nico Rosberg has revealed "very intense" discussions followed his Chinese Grand Prix furore with Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton.
Hamilton spearheaded a Mercedes one-two at the Shanghai International Circuit on Sunday, claiming his fourth Chinese Grand Prix victory and the 35th overall of his Formula One career.
But what appeared a routine performance from Mercedes took on a fresh complexion when Rosberg later bemoaned Hamilton's tactics.
With Hamilton attempting to preserve his soft tyres during the middle stint of the race it led to Rosberg falling into the grasp of Sebastian Vettel chasing behind in his Ferrari.
Yet following the team's debrief, Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff confirmed Hamilton was completely exonerated of any blame.
Answering questions from fans in a post-race video blog, one accused Rosberg of "crying", to which he replied: "You said I was crying? I respect your opinion.
"I'll keep it in mind and try to show respect when it is due."
"It was very intense after the race, but we had a very good sit-down and a good discussion," assessed Rosberg.
"There was a lot of constructive criticism and now for everyone it is a thing of the past. We move on to Bahrain."