Mark Thompson/Getty Images
April 8, 2017
Lewis Hamilton will occupy pole position on the grid at the 2017 Formula One Chinese Grand Prix for the sixth time on Sunday after topping qualifying at the Shanghai International Circuit.
He set a time of one minute, 31.678 seconds ahead of Sebastian Vettel, who split Hamilton and Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas by the narrowest of margins.
Vettel’s Ferrari counterpart Kimi Raikkonen will start in fourth place, meaning the top of the grid mirrors that of the Australian Grand Prix last time out.
Here are the full results, courtesy of F1’s official Twitter feed:
Formula 1 @F1
PROVISIONAL CLASSIFICATION (END OF QUALIFYING)
6th pole in a row for HAM 👏
One THOUSANDTH between VET (P2) and BOT (P3) 😮
#ChineseGP 🇨🇳 https://t.co/EvtOFEABwA
4/8/2017, 8:18:11 AM
After Friday’s heavily disrupted practice sessions, the teams were able to successfully get out on the track for FP3 on Saturday morning, and it was Ferrari who dominated it ahead of the Mercedes duo:
Formula 1 @F1
PROVISIONAL CLASSIFICATION (END OF #FP3)
Set up nicely for another intriguing battle in #Quali 🙌
#ChineseGP 🇨🇳 https://t.co/pixsp6KFZz
4/8/2017, 5:07:17 AM
Car troubles cost Red Bull’s Max Verstappen—who topped FP1 on Friday—and Haas’ Romain Grosjean in Q3. The former ran into engine difficulties and was way off the pace, while the latter spun at Turn 16 and suffered a puncture.
The pair weren’t helped by a late crash into the barriers by Sauber rookie Antonio Giovinazzi, which prevented them from improving on their final times:
Formula 1 @F1
Seconds before the end of Q1
A few metres before the end of his lap
Disaster for GIO – and implications for eliminations
#ChineseGP 🇨🇳 https://t.co/GRfaBlQfm8
4/8/2017, 7:20:28 AM
The Italian had scraped through to Q2 but was unable to take part, and he’s now at risk of missing out on the race entirely.
Meanwhile Stoffel Vandoorne, Jolyon Palmer and Esteban Ocon were the other drivers to be eliminated.
Fernando Alonso was the biggest casualty in Q2 as Raikkonen laid down the gauntlet with a record lap time, per Ferrari:
Scuderia Ferrari @ScuderiaFerrari
#Kimi7 track lap record! 👏🏼1:32.181 #ChineseGP #Q2 P1 #ForzaFerrari https://t.co/4x891An1Vj
4/8/2017, 7:52:56 AM
Hamilton duly rose to the challenge in Q3 with his quickest run of the day to earn Mercedes the top spot on the grid in China for the sixth year running.
The Englishman had pole ahead of Vettel in Melbourne, though, and that wasn’t enough to prevent the German from winning.
While Ferrari’s wait for their first pole since Singapore in 2015 continues, the warning signs are there for Mercedes—Hamilton and his team will need to be at their best on Sunday to get their first win of the season.