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Lew's left in bit of a Stew; Bahrain GP 4pm, live on Sky Sports F1, highlights BBC2 10pm.

Byline: from Byron Young

LEWIS HAMILTON has been told to beware the new Alain Prost after his Bahrain qualifying heartbreak.

F1 legend Sir Jackie Stewart said Hamilton's Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg is showing every likelihood of emulating one of the greatest racers the sport has ever seen.

And the German proved the point by coolly snatching first place on the grid here at the death yesterday to deny Hamilton his pole hat-trick.

It was a nerveless performance in the scorching heat that put the brakes on the title momentum threatening to build behind Hamilton.

Stewart said everything about the methodical Rosberg reminded him of fourtime champion Prost, British icon Jim Clark and even Stewart himself, who clinically collected three world championships.

There was no miraculous last lap this time from Hamilton. The 29-year-old made a mistake and had to settle for second.

"I can't always get it right," he said.

"Nico did a great job. I just locked up and went straight on."

Stewart said it was exactly Hamilton's focus on unrelenting speed that could cost him dearly.

"Lewis is the fastest one-lap driver in the business," Sir Jackie said.

"Whether he has the long-term, race distance skills - that has not yet arrived.

"Nico has proved he can keep a car cool, keep the tyres cool, a little bit like the way I drove the car, or Alain Prost drove the car or Jim Clark did.

"Lewis is not yet in that category.

He's got to win more grands prix, more championships.

"He did win convincingly in Malaysia. It only remains to be seen if he can give repeatability on that.

"It's not always about being the fastest. You've got to consistently win.

"Just because Lewis has shown such a turn of speed in Malaysia it doesn't mean the championship is a done deal. We are only in the third of 19 races and Nico is a real threat."

Rosberg is also taking nothing for granted. He said: "Lewis is tough to beat but I'm not surprised I'm at the front because my mind is always on pole."

McLaren's Jenson Button lines up sixth after a 10-place grid penalty for Daniel Ricciardo and Max Chilton is 22nd for Marussia.

Meanwhile, Jean-Eric Vergne has become the first victim of F1's crazy new weight limits.

The superfit 23-year-old Frenchman revealed he admitted himself to hospital for treatment between the Australian and Malaysian races.

The Toro Rosso driver said he did so because he felt strange on holiday.

"I decided to go to hospital just to be sure, because I was feeling very tired," said Vergne. Hamilton and Button have both insisted the new rules requiring the heavier drivers to lose weight to be competitive is lethal.

Not enough weight was allowed under the new regulations for the complicated V6 turbo engines so the drivers are making up the difference.

But they are becoming so dangerously short of nutrients there is a risk they could faint at the wheel of their 200mph race machines.

Sauber's Adrian Sutil will even do today's 57-lap race in the sapping heat without his 1kg water bottle because of the weight penalty.

GRID POSITIONS STANDINGS 1 Rosberg 1:33.185 2 Hamilton 1:33.464 3 Bottas 1:34.247 4 Perez 1:34.346 5 Raikkonen 1:34.368 6 Button 1:34.387 7 Massa 1:34.511 8 Magnussen 1:34.712 9 Alonso 1:34.992 10 Vettel 1:34.992 11 Hulkenberg 1:35.116 12 Daniil Kvyat 1:35.145 1 Nico Rosberg 43 2 Lewis Hamilton 25 3 Fernando Alonso 24 4 Jenson Button 23 5 Kevin Magnussen 20 6 Nico Hulkenberg 18 7 Sebastian Vettel 15 8 Valtteri Bottas 14

CAPTION(S):

POLE STARS: Hamilton, Rosberg and Ricciardo are all smiles
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The People (London, England)
Date:Apr 6, 2014
Words:631
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