Toto Wolff hopes respect between Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas lasts

It was not Hamilton however, who will line up on the front slot on Sunday, but Bottas after he edged out his team-mate by just two hundredths of a second over 3.4 miles of track.

Ferrari had been tipped as the team to beat in the desert this weekend and outperformed Mercedes in the race simulations, while Vettel was top of both practice sessions on Friday.

Max Verstappen then went P2, slotting in between Bottas and Ricciardo, before Hamilton went P1 with a time 0.052 clear of Bottas. Sebastian Vettel's Ferrari starts third. "He has been working so hard and he was just quicker, he did the better job and hats off to him", he said. Felt I could extract pretty much the maximum out of the auto so that's always a good feeling and for sure it always takes a bit of time to get there.

"We lost a bit more time there, a bit more than usual. It's a ideal situation now for us, for the team, because they will be pushing each other - and with all the respect they have for each other as racing drivers - so it's good".

Vettel, tied on points with Hamilton at the summit of the championship, said: "I was a bit down to be honest, because four tenths of a second was a lot more than I expected, given how good the lap felt".

Vandoorne starts from 17th, making it unlikely that McLaren will get in the points here. Hamilton, trying to respond, made an error on his final lap and fell short of Bottas by 0.2 seconds to claim P2. "It was a great battle, like qualifying should be".

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The Great Vigil of Easter started at 7.30 with a special Easter service followed by lighting of candles and hymns. The big boulder of stone has been rolled away, and Mary of Magdala tells us that the tomb is empty.

"But in qualifying, after seeing what the gap was at the end of my first run in Q3, I wasn't so happy, so I tried it all and maybe pushed a bit too much". At the time, he had set the quickest time of the day at in sector one, and set a personal best in sector two. That's always a good feeling and for sure it always takes a bit of time to get there. I see that not only in the auto, but when they engage with each other.

Valtteri Bottas was fourth for Mercedes, ahead of Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen.

"Today we had a margin to the Ferrari but generally in race they tend to be closer", he said. "Hopefully we'll have a great battle tomorrow". Red Bull's race pace is right there as well.

When asked about Mercedes' rules of engagement in Bahrain, Bottas joked he hoped to avoid a repeat of the first corner contact between himself and Hamilton in last year's race.

Felipe Massa's Williams was eighth, Haas' Romain Grosjean ninth and Britain's Jolyon Palmer did well to put his Renault into Q3 for the first time this season, finishing in 10th place.

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