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Bahrain, Saturday – Toto: “It will be important for us to race hard in order to get both cars to the finish in strong positions”

Bahrain, Saturday – Toto: “It will be important for us to race hard in order to get both cars to the finish in strong positions”

Nico took the second pole position of his career in Bahrain today with Lewis qualifying in fourth place.

The result gave the team its first consecutive pole positions since the return of Mercedes-Benz as a works team in 2010. Lewis was forced to take a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change following the third practice session.

A piece of debris on the circuit caused a left rear tyre failure which led to suspension and gearbox damage. He qualified in fourth place in spite of these setbacks and will start tomorrow's race from ninth position.

Ross thinks that “as a team, we recovered well from two difficult practice sessions yesterday. Neither driver was happy and, together with their engineers, they did a great job to put us in a much stronger position today Nico produced a great lap to take pole.

I said earlier in the season that I think we have the best driver pairing in Formula One and they are proving it with their performances. Lewis had some problems this morning but he coped with them well and recovered strongly to qualify fourth fastest.

He will drop five places on the grid tomorrow but we can still expect him to deliver a strong race. We know tomorrow's race could be very different and perhaps today's slightly cooler conditions favoured us, so let's see what it brings.”

For Toto, “first and fourth places were a strong result this afternoon and we have to be very happy with Nico's pole position. He did a great job and both of his timed laps in Q3 would have put him on pole position.

Lewis has had a more difficult and disrupted weekend so far so qualifying was all about damage limitation for him, which he managed to do extremely well. However, we should be under no illusions about tomorrow. It will be a very tough race and it will be important for us to race hard in order to get both cars to the finish in strong positions.”

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