Lewis Hamilton takes fourth straight pole of season in Bahrain

    Lewis Hamilton celebrates after claiming poll at the Bahrain Grand Prix.

    (CNN)Lewis Hamilton followed up last week's Shanghai success by claiming his first fourth straight pole of the season at the Bahrain Grand Prix Saturday.

    The Mercedes driver edged out Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel by just 0.411 seconds on the final lap of the day while teammate and title rival Nico Rosberg could only finish the qualifying session 0.558 seconds behind Hamilton in third.
    "I feel great. I feel very happy," Hamilton said afterwards in quotes carried by the AFP news agency. "Obviously coming in to the weekend that was the target to master the track and get the car into an area that I'm happy with."
      "I'm really grateful to have this beast (car) underneath me to attack these corners."
      Kimi Raikkonen claimed fourth spot on the grid for Ferrari followed by the Williams of Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa in fifth and sixth respectively.
      Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo secured seventh position ahead of Force India's Nico Hulkenberg, Toro Rosso's Carlos Sainz and Lotus's Romain Grosjean who complete the top ten.
      The grid positions set up an intriguing battle between Mercedes and the Ferraris which showed impressive speed throughout qualifying.
      "They (Ferrari) are very quick," Hamilton continued. "They're going to be very hard to beat this weekend hopefully our positioning helps. I think we're in a good position. Looking forward to the fight."

      Tough at the top

      Hamilton's main rival in recent seasons has been his teammate Rosberg, and the pair traded thinly veiled barbs in the aftermath last week's Shanghai showdown.
      Rosberg accused his teammate of driving too slow during the in order to back him up into the chasing Vettel.
      Hamilton denied the accusation and Rosberg soon said the issue had been resolved at a team meeting. Later in the week, however, Hamilton suggested he was the mentally stronger of the pair.
      But such petty spats could soon become a sideshow to another rivalry.
      Recent results suggest Hamilton may receive a greater challenge for the drivers' title this year from Vettel.
      The four-time world champion won the Malaysian Grand Prix last month and is currently second in the overall standings as well as being in confident mood.
      "I am very happy with second today," Vettel told reporters on the subject of his qualifying performance.
      "It was a tough session, I didn't find the rhythm to begin with, but at the end it was getting better and I could push."
      "(I'm) very happy with the front row. In the race we are maybe a bit closer so let's see what happens."