Chinese GP: Lewis Hamilton takes pole in a thrilling qualifying session; Vettel, Bottas to follow – Lewis Hamilton’s 63rd career pole position puts him within two of Ayrton Senna’s record and five of Michael Schumacher’s.
Top three qualifiers Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP, Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Ferrari, and Valtteri Bottas of Finland and Mercedes GP wave to the crowd from parc ferme during qualifying for the Formula One Grand Prix of China at Shanghai International Circuit on April 8, 2017 in Shanghai, China. (Getty Images – Clive Mason)
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton will start the Chinese Formula One Grand Prix from pole position after setting the fastest time in qualifying on Saturday.
Sebastian Vettel will start second in his Ferrari, just 0.186 seconds slower than Hamilton’s benchmark, with the Briton’s Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas third.
Hamilton’s time of one minute, 31.678 was the fastest time set at the Shanghai circuit.
“We knew it would be close. We knew we’d need a perfect lap. Very, very happy and super grateful to the team. It’s more exciting than ever fighting these guys. It’s amazing,” BBC Sports quoted the Briton.
Saturday’s pole position makes 63rd of Hamilton’s career. This puts him within two of Ayrton Senna’s record and five of Michael Schumacher’s. This was also Hamilton’s 6th consecutive pole position.
Vettel, who was the fastest at the end of final practice session, said, “We will see tomorrow how important it [front row of grid] is. It was a nice session. I enjoyed it a lot. If I was quicker at the end I would be happier but I am happy with the lap.”
Vettel also said that his car is strong yet him and the team are aware of Mercedes’ capabilities to get on top. “We can still improve. Let’s see what the race looks like. Conditions will be different,” said the racer.
Starting grid from the Formula One Chinese Grand Prix at Shanghai International Circuit on Sunday –
1. Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes
2. Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Ferrari
3. Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Mercedes
4. Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Ferrari
5. Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Red Bull – TAG Heuer
6. Felipe Massa (Brazil) Williams-Mercedes
7. Nico Huelkenberg (Germany) Renault
8. Sergio Perez (Mexico) Force India – Mercedes
9. Daniil Kvyat (Russia) Toro Rosso – Renault
10. Lance Stroll (Canada) Williams-Mercedes
11. Carlos Sainz Jr (Spain) Toro Rosso – Renault
12. Kevin Magnussen (Denmark) Haas – Ferrari
13. Fernando Alonso (Spain) McLaren
14. Marcus Ericsson (Sweden) Sauber – Ferrari
15. Antonio Giovinazzi (Italy) Sauber – Ferrari
16. Stoffel Vandoorne (Belgium) McLaren
17. Romain Grosjean (France) Haas – Ferrari
18. Jolyon Palmer (Britain) Renault
19. Max Verstappen (Netherlands) Red Bull – TAG Heuer
20. Esteban Ocon (France)
(With Reuters Inputs)