Kovalainen Tops First Qualifying

Heikki Kovalainen has stated his intentions for the weekend by claiming the top spot in the first qualifying session at the Bahrain International Circuit, just ahead of Championship rivals Nico Rosberg and Scott Speed

Kovalainen Tops First Qualifying

Kovalainen, who had never driven at the circuit before today, set a time of 1:46.205, three tenths ahead of Rosberg.

Rosberg's teammate Alex Premat was the first man to set fastest lap before spinning at turn eight and sparking a red flag period after stalling in the middle of the corner. After the restart Rosberg took over at the top of the timesheets, but with ten minutes remaining in the session Kovalainen went fastest and was never headed.

 The session saw few incidents on track after Premat's spin, but neither Nelson Piquet Jr or Neel Jani were able to set a time - Jani ran one installation lap and came back into the pits, while Piquet ran two but didn't cross the line on the front straight.

The top five drivers were separated by just one second, with another second covering the grid down to fourteenth position. With pole position for this afternoon's race set by the fastest time in either qualifying session this morning, Rosberg still has time to strike back against his rival.

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