Hamilton Takes Narrow Pole Over Rosberg In China

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Lewis Hamilton did not have much to spare as he took pole for the Chinese Grand Prix less than a tenth of a second ahead of his team-mate Nico Rosberg. Sebastian Vettel finished the session in third for Ferrari.

Hamilton was pleased with the pole and said that he had learned lessons from the race in Malaysia.

“I am very happy with pole, but you can’t really get too excited because there is a long, long race ahead of us tomorrow.”

“There is about two seconds between the two [strategies] so it is unlikely that I am going to be pushing for a three-stop,”

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Nico Rosberg had his eyes on the race, saying that the first stint could be key between the abilities of Mercedes and Ferrari to make the soft tyre compound last.

“It’s going to be a very challenging race because we have the option [soft] tyre to start off with and that’s going to fall apart at some point quite dramatically,” said Rosberg.

“There is going to be a lot going on at that time of the race.

“The Ferraris might be able to go longer than us, as we have seen in Malaysia, so I wonder how that will play in with the strategy.

“Even with the prime tyre, it’s going to be on the edge.”

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Sebastian Vettel was content with third and is hoping that in the race, it may be a closer fight than the gap of a second between pole sitter Hamilton and Vettel in third.

“I think we knew it would be tough in qualifying to be really close,” he said. “Q1 and especially Q2 look promising.

“In Q3 it was a bit more like what we saw in practice, so quite a large gap for us.

“But we’re fairly happy to make sure we are right behind them.

“Obviously we want to close the gap, and maybe tomorrow we will be closer, but for now we are reasonably happy.

“It’s a bit of a shame not to get both cars on the second row, I think as I was told, Kimi [Raikkonen] got a bit unlucky on [his] warm up lap.

“But in tomorrow’s race, we should have the pace. We will see what we can do.”

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Valtteri Bottas qualified his Williams in fifth, but the Finn appeared content despite being out-qualified by his Brazilian team-mate Felipe Massa.

“Overall we had more grip from the tyres than in practice, so we managed to create a bit more temperature in the tyres, which was good,” he said.

“But then in Q2 from run two onwards I really struggled with my rear tyres.

“Now we see after qualifying that there was quite a difference between the cars in the rear temps, so I was cooking my tyres too much in the out-laps.

“We only noticed it after qualifying, we thought we were ideal but we were actually too high with me.”

Chinese GP Grid

Pos Driver Car Time Gap
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m35.782s
2 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m35.824s 0.042s
3 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m36.687s 0.905s
4 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1m36.954s 1.172s
5 Valtteri Bottas Williams/Mercedes 1m37.143s 1.361s
6 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m37.232s 1.450s
7 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1m37.540s 1.758s
8 Romain Grosjean Lotus/Mercedes 1m37.905s 2.123s
9 Felipe Nasr Sauber/Ferrari 1m38.067s 2.285s
10 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1m38.158s 2.376s
11 Pastor Maldonado Lotus/Mercedes 1m38.134s
12 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull/Renault 1m38.209s
13 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso/Renault 1m38.393s
14 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso/Renault 1m38.538s
15 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1m39.290s
16 Nico Hulkenberg Force India/Mercedes 1m39.216s
17 Jenson Button McLaren/Honda 1m39.276s
18 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 1m39.280s
19 Will Stevens Marussia/Ferrari 1m42.091s
20 Roberto Merhi Marussia/Ferrari 1m42.842s
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