Hamilton Storms To Shanghai Pole

Lewis Hamilton stormed to a dominant pole position at the Shanghai International Circuit today, beating closest rival Daniel Ricciardo by a full second in wet conditions. While Hamilton’s team-mate Nico Rosberg spun on his final flying lap, Hamilton was flawless as he romped to his third pole of the season – the fourth of four for the Mercedes team. Daniel Ricciardo in second beat his team-mate who lines up third, this race being the third race where he has out-qualified his World Champion team-mate. Rosberg took fourth but could have improved if not for the last-minute spin, while Fernando Alonso took fifth for Ferrari. Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas both made it through to Q3 and lined up in order, taking sixth and seventh for Williams respectively, while Nico Hulkenberg narrowly made it through to Q3 and then qualified eighth. Jean-Eric Vergne took his STR9 to ninth on the grid while Romain Grosjean rounded out the top ten, a particularly impressive feat by the Frenchman whose team-mate failed to qualify.

Kimi Raikkonen improved in all sectors on his final attempt to get through to Q3, but he missed the cut by a mere 0.013 and resigned himself to a Q2 drop-out. Jenson Button, who usually excels in wet conditions, couldn’t improve on twelfth, with the other McLaren, the one piloted by Kevin Magnussen, qualifying fifteenth. Daniil Kvyat was thirteenth for Toro Rosso ahead of Sauber’s Sutil in fourteenth. Sergio Perez, coming from Bahrain where he took Force India’s second ever podium, will face an uphill battle if he hopes to repeat that feat from sixteenth on the grid.

Gutierrez pushed hard, too hard perhaps, on his final lap in Q1 which sent him wide at the final corner and this narrowly saved Lotus’ Romain Grosjean who hung dangerously in sixteenth. Kobayashi crossed the line and took eighteenth for Caterham, while Jules Bianchi’s efforts to make it out of the bottom six were ruined when he went incredibly wide at the final corner. He subsequently qualified nineteenth ahead of the Caterham of Marcus Ericsson who himself out-qualified Max Chilton. Pastor Maldonado failed to take part in Qualifying following an engine problem which was discovered late in this morning’s practice session and which the team were unable to fix before Quali. As a result he lines up twenty-second, and his five place grid penalty for making contact with Gutierrez in Bahrain carries over to the Spanish Grand Prix.

Provisional Grid:

  1. Lewis Hamilton
  2. Daniel Ricciardo
  3. Sebastian Vettel
  4. Nico Rosberg
  5. Fernando Alonso
  6. Felipe Massa
  7. Valtteri Bottas
  8. Nico Hulkenberg
  9. Jean-Eric Vergne
  10. Romain Grosjean
  11. Kimi Raikkonen
  12. Jenson Button
  13. Daniil Kvyat
  14. Adrian Sutil
  15. Kevin Magnussen
  16. Sergio Perez
  17. Esteban Gutierrez
  18. Kamui Kobayashi
  19. Jules Bianchi
  20. Marcus Ericsson
  21. Max Chilton
  22. Pastor Maldonado (did not take part).

Image courtesy Mercedes AMG F1 Team.

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Filed under F1, Qualifying Report

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