14 Mar 2010

Vettel qualify's in pole for Red Bull at Bahrain Grand Prix

6:43 am on 14 March 2010

Germany's Sebastian Vettel put returning compatriot Michael Schumacher in the shade with pole position for Red Bull at the Formula One season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.

Schumacher, the seven times world champion making a comeback at the age of 41 after a three-year absence, qualified seventh for Mercedes, exactly where he qualified on his Formula One debut in 1991.

With Red Bull and Ferrari looking the teams to beat, Britain's world champion Jenson Button put his McLaren alongside Schumacher in eighth place after just sneaking into the final phase of qualifying, with all cars on the same low fuel loads.

Ferrari's Brazilian Felipe Massa, returning for his first race since his serious head injury last July, qualified second and one place ahead of new Spanish team mate and double world champion Fernando Alonso.

McLaren's Lewis Hamilton, the fourth world champion on the starting grid, starts fourth.

Vettel, who came into Formula One with the nickname 'Baby Schumi' the year after Schumacher retired in 2006, finished overall runner-up last season while his Renault-powered team won the last three races of 2009.

Germany's Nico Rosberg qualified fifth, ahead of team mate Schumacher, with Vettel's Australian team mate Mark Webber sixth.