Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton has taken pole position for the Formula One Chinese Grand Prix.
Hamilton’s best time at the Shanghai International Circuit was 1 minute,34.484 seconds,qualifying a quarter of a second ahead of Lotus’ Kimi Raikkonen. Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso will start third in Sunday’s race.
A cat-and-mouse qualifying session saw all runners restrict their time on the track to preserve their tires for the race,with all of the top 10 having only one flying lap in the final stage of qualifying.
McLaren’s Jenson Button and Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel both elected to do their flying lap on the harder of the two tire compounds,sacrificing grid position so they can have a longer stint at the beginning of the race. Button qualified eighth and Vettel ninth.
Red Bull’s Mark Webber had a fuel pressure failure in the second sector of qualifying,putting him 14th. He will start from the back of the grid,however,if there is not enough fuel in the car to provide a sample to stewards.
Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg,last year’s winner,qualified in fourth,ahead of Ferrari’s Felipe Massa,Lotus’ Romain Grosjean and Daniel Ricciardo of Toro Rosso. Sauber’s Nico Hulkenberg was tenth.
Both the Sahara Force drivers missed out on Q3 in the qualifying as Paul di Resta will begin the race from 11th place while Adrian Sutil from 13th.
Di Resta marginally improved his timing in Q2 but his best lap of 1:36.287 could not get him into top-10 shootout.
Sutil also improved on his Q1 timing but his fastest lap in 1:36.405 was good enough for 13th spot on grid.
Lewis Hamilton won his first pole position with Mercedes and joining him in the front row was Kimi Raikkonen in his Lotus.
Di Resta said his position on the grid was not bad and scoring point was a good possibility.
“I think P11 is a reasonable result considering the difficulties we had during final practice where our performance level dropped away. The changes we made ahead of qualifying improved things and in the end I just missed out on making Q3.
“I don’t think that will make much difference tomorrow
because it’s going to be a race all about making the tyres
last,” the Scot said.
Sutil said he expected a better qualifying but somethings did not work for him.
“…for whatever reason the warmer conditions during qualifying did not work to our advantage. There was no major problem with the car and I felt happy with the balance,but I lost some performance during qualifying and didn’t have the grip to go any faster.
“The positive is that I’m able to choose my starting tyres tomorrow and I have all new sets available for the race,which should allow us to target some points in the race,” he said.
Force India had returned empty-handed from the last race in Malaysia due to wheel-nut issue in the car.