McLaren F1 junior Stoffel Vandoorne got his season off to the best possible start by taking pole position for the Bahrain Grand Prix and his fifth consecutive pole in the category.

Vandoorne set the pace as soon as the session started, going to the top of the table on his first run. Then after a break in the session and a set of new tyres, he ventured back out to improve on his own time, ending up 0.308 seconds faster than team-mate Nobuharu Matsushita in second.

DAMS driver and current GP3 champion Alex Lynn had an average first run and could only manage ninth position. He improved on his second run to second position, only to be relegated to third by Matsushita by half a tenth of a second.

Ferrari academy driver and new Trident recruit Raffaele Marciello looked like he would be starting towards the back end of the grid after getting stuck in second gear early in the session. However, the team were able to fix the problem and get him back out on track where he qualified in fifth position.

Arthur Pic looked like he would be challenging Vandoorne for pole as he was very competitive in the first half of the session, although he could only manage fourth place in the end, three-hundredths of a second slower than Lynn.

Artem Markelov looks to have improved a lot since his debut year last season. He was competitive throughout the session and qualified in 11th position, two places ahead of team-mate Mitch Evans in the other Russian Time.

Image via GP2 Series Media

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