F1: Nico Rosberg beats Lewis Hamilton to Bahrain pole
April 5, 2014 -- Updated 1824 GMT (0224 HKT)
- Mercedes' dominance continues as Nico Rosberg wins pole position in Bahrain
- German heads off teammate Lewis Hamilton in Saturday's qualifying sessions
- Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardio is third but will start Sunday's race in 13th place
- Bahrain organizers celebrating 10th anniversary with race under lights for first time
Follow us at @WorldSportCNN and like us on Facebook
(CNN) -- Nico Rosberg vowed to put on a "fantastic show" at Sunday's Bahrain Grand Prix after ending Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton's dominance of qualifying.
Formula One has been criticized for becoming boring in recent years due to Sebastian Vettel's all-conquering Red Bull, but this season the Mercedes team has taken center stage following a raft of new rule changes.
While Vettel failed to make the final session on Saturday -- the second time in three race weekends so far the four-time world champion has suffered such fate -- championship leader Rosberg and 2008 titleholder Hamilton lined up for a shootout in Q3.
It was the German who prevailed, denying Hamilton a third successive pole position after the Englishman locked up his wheels on turn one as the last driver still out on the track.
"We're here to put on a great show," Rosberg told reporters. "You could see some action tomorrow between us. Hopefully not, but it's very possible.
Caterham boss changes tactics
F1's big design changes
"We owe it to the fans, to everybody, to put on a fantastic show, and that's what we'll do."
The quieter V6 engines being used this year have left many, including F1's boss Bernie Ecclestone, lamenting a lack of atmosphere.
For the past three years, Bahrain has been one of the most tense dates on the calendar, following the civil unrest which forced the cancellation of the 2011 race.
There were reports of peaceful protests outside of Manama on Friday, but organizers were looking forward to a trouble-free celebration of the 10th anniversary of the event -- with the 57-lap race to be held at night under lights for the first time.
Vettel has won the race for the past two years, but will start 10th on the grid after new teammate Daniel Ricciardo dropped from third in qualifying thanks to a 10-place penalty from last weekend's grand prix in Malaysia.
Hamilton, who won at Sepang after failing to finish the season-opener in Australia, will be ahead of Williams' Valtteri Bottas and Force India's Sergio Perez.
McLaren's Jenson Button will start his 250th career GP in sixth behind Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen, whose teammate Fernando Alonso -- a three-time Bahrain winner -- will be ninth.
Former Ferrari driver Felipe Massa will start seventh for Williams ahead of McLaren rookie Kevin Magnussen.
Read: F1 stars welcome Schumacher news
Read: Schumacher shows signs of consciousness
Read: Hamilton dedicates win to flight victims
Part of complete coverage on
Track the buzz of the 2014 Formula One season, race by race, with all the latest social reaction from motorsport experts.
July 24, 2014 -- Updated 1135 GMT (1935 HKT)
Formula One is not likely to go hungry in Hungary as master chefs cater in volume for drivers, teams and VIP guests.
July 3, 2014 -- Updated 1443 GMT (2243 HKT)
It's the elephant in the room of Formula One. What's the prognosis legendary driver Michael Schumacher?
May 23, 2014 -- Updated 2310 GMT (0710 HKT)
It stimulates all five senses, creating an unparalleled experience for drivers and fans alike. Take a tour of Monaco with Mark Webber.
May 22, 2014 -- Updated 1233 GMT (2033 HKT)
To be a champion you must win a title -- but to become an F1 legend you must win races at Monaco, the calendar's most testing circuit.
May 21, 2014 -- Updated 1459 GMT (2259 HKT)
Caterham F1 reserve driver Alexander Rossi takes you on a tour of the Monaco racing circuit.
May 5, 2014 -- Updated 1238 GMT (2038 HKT)
The Formula One driver transcended his sport and even 20 years after his death, Ayrton Senna commands the adoration of fans worldwide.
May 1, 2014 -- Updated 1500 GMT (2300 HKT)
F1's greatest racer was killed during the San Marino Grand Prix on May 1 1994. The sport hasn't been the same since.
April 30, 2014 -- Updated 1516 GMT (2316 HKT)
Just four F1 drivers turned up to Roland Ratzenberger's funeral after his death during qualifying for the San Marino Grand Prix on April 30 1994.
April 25, 2014 -- Updated 1156 GMT (1956 HKT)
For a championship with a distinctly Iberian streak, it is no surprise that South America should be high on MotoGP's list of territories to conquer.
April 18, 2014 -- Updated 1113 GMT (1913 HKT)
Too weak. Can't handle the pressure. Susie Wolff has heard it all -- but she is determined to become the first female F1 driver in 20 years.
CNN's Amanda Davies visits the headquarters of Mercedes, the dominant team in Formula One this season.
Today's five most popular stories