At the end of yet another very closely contested qualifying, Mercedes-Benz AMG driver Nico Rosberg managed to edge out Red Bull Racing star Sebastian Vettel to secure pole for this weekend’s 2013 Formula One Bahrain Grand Prix.

Rosberg’s fastest time was a scorching 1:32.330, with Vettel’s fastest only a fraction behind at 1:32.584.       

Behind them it will be an all-Ferrari row, with Fernando Alonso posting the third fastest time during qualifying at the Bahrain International Circuit. His best was 1:32.667.

Alonso’s team-mate Felipe Massa actually set the sixth fastest time, though he was promoted to fourth on the grid because of penalties for the two drivers directly ahead of him, Red Bull Racing’s Mark Webber and Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes AMG.

Hamilton drops five places for changing gearboxes prior to qualifying, while Webber drops three places for his clash with Toro Rosso’s Jean-Eric Vergne at last weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix.

This means that Force India’s Paul di Resta has also been promoted, moving up to fifth on the grid, followed by his team-mate Adrian Sutil at sixth on the grid. Then comes Webber at seventh on the grid, followed by Lotus’ Kimi Räikkönen at eighth, Hamilton at ninth and McLaren’s Jenson Button rounding out the top ten.

The opening stages of tomorrow’s fourth round of the season should produce plenty of excitement, while in general fewer pit stops are expected than in China last week. Weather conditions are still forecast to be hot and sunny, which should make for a great race.

Going into tomorrow’s race, Sebastian Vettel leads the Drivers’ Championship with 52 points, followed by Kimi Räikkönen with 49 points and Fernando Alonso in third with 43 points.

In the Constructors’ Championship, Red Bull Racing remains in the lead with 78 points, followed by Ferrari with 73 points and Lotus with 60 points.