SAKHIR, Bahrain, April 20 (UPI) -- Mercedes will parked on the pole at this weekend's Bahrain Grand Prix thanks to Nico Rosberg's top qualifying time Saturday.
Rosberg nipped defending Formula One champion Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull by a quarter of a second for his second career pole position.
"That's a fantastic result," said Rosberg, whose trip around the 3.195-mile course was timed at 1 minute, 32.330 seconds. "Of course, tomorrow will be a tough race for sure, with rear tire degradation especially. A lot can happen."
Rosberg will try to unseat Vettel, the defending Bahrain winner.
Vettel holds a 3-point lead in the F1 points race over Kimi Raikkonen of Lotus. Raikkonen took eighth in Saturday's qualifying.
Rosberg's pole was the second in a row for Mercedes. His teammate, Lewis Hamilton, was on the pole at last weekend's Chinese Grand Prix.
Hamilton turned in the fourth-fastest time Saturday but was knocked down to ninth position due to a penalty for a gear-box change.