Hamilton on pole again in Shanghai

Speedcafe.com

Saturday 8th April, 2017 - 6:44pm

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Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton has taken his sixth pole in a row in qualifying for the Chinese Grand Prix.

Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel will share the front row, ahead of Valtteri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen in a repeat of the top four on the grid for the Australian Grand Prix.

Also similar to the season-opener, a Red Bull qualified fifth, but this time it was Dan Ricciardo who led the charge for the Milton Keynes squad.

His team-mate Max Verstappen, on the other hand, failed to progress past Q1, which was topped by Vettel.

Verstappen had not set a time until late in the session as he battled apparent engine problems.

When he did so, the Dutchman could only go 17th fastest, before ultimately being bumped to 19th.

The others eliminated were Stofel Vandoorne, Romain Grosjean, Jolyon Palmer, and Sebastian Ocon.

Antonio Giovinazzi was 15th in the first hit-out but did not reappear after he crashed late in the piece at the final corner, delaying the start of Q2.

Raikkonen topped Q2 after opting for a second run, in contrast to the Mercedes, while Carlos Sainz Jnr was first in the drop zone.

Kevin Magnussen improved on his own best after the chequered flag, but managed to advance only one position to 12th, ahead of Fernando Alonso and Marcus Ericsson.

Hamilton led after the first runs in Q3, despite a somewhat untidy lap, from Vettel and Bottas.

The Briton was more textbook when he came out for his second run, lowering his personal best to 1:31.678s.

Bottas went second, before Vettel came home to edge the Finn by a single thousandth of a second.

Ricciardo finished a distant fifth, but was still comfortably faster than sixth-placed Felipe Massa.

Rookie Lance Stroll made Q3 for the first time and will start 10th.

The top 10 will start the race on super-soft tyres after setting their respective fastest Q2 laps on the compound.

The race will start tomorrow at 1600 AEST.

Qualifying: Chinese Grand Prix

POS DRIVER CAR Q1 Q2 Q3 LAPS
1 Lewis Hamilton MERCEDES 1:33.333 1:32.406 1:31.678 13
2 Sebastian Vettel FERRARI 1:33.078 1:32.391 1:31.864 15
3 Valtteri Bottas MERCEDES 1:33.684 1:32.552 1:31.865 14
4 Kimi Räikkönen FERRARI 1:33.341 1:32.181 1:32.140 15
5 Daniel Ricciardo RED BULL RACING TAG HEUER 1:34.041 1:33.546 1:33.033 12
6 Felipe Massa WILLIAMS MERCEDES 1:34.205 1:33.759 1:33.507 14
7 Nico Hulkenberg RENAULT 1:34.453 1:33.636 1:33.580 16
8 Sergio Perez FORCE INDIA MERCEDES 1:34.657 1:33.920 1:33.706 15
9 Daniil Kvyat TORO ROSSO 1:34.440 1:34.034 1:33.719 17
10 Lance Stroll WILLIAMS MERCEDES 1:33.986 1:34.090 1:34.220 18
11 Carlos Sainz TORO ROSSO 1:34.567 1:34.150 11
12 Kevin Magnussen HAAS FERRARI 1:34.942 1:34.164 12
13 Fernando Alonso MCLAREN HONDA 1:34.499 1:34.372 11
14 Marcus Ericsson SAUBER FERRARI 1:34.892 1:35.046 15
15 Antonio Giovinazzi SAUBER FERRARI 1:34.963 No time 8
16 Stoffel Vandoorne MCLAREN HONDA 1:35.023 6
17 Romain Grosjean HAAS FERRARI 1:35.223 6
18 Jolyon Palmer RENAULT 1:35.279 6
19 Max Verstappen RED BULL RACING TAG HEUER 1:35.433 7
20 Esteban Ocon FORCE INDIA MERCEDES 1:35.496 8