Lewis Hamilton has won pole for the Chinese GP 2017 with a new lap record at the Shanghai International Circuit. A 1m31.678s by the Mercedes driver marked the sixth consecutive Chinese GP pole by Mercedes. Vettel will start alongside the Briton from P2 while Bottas and Raikkonen will lineup on the second row.

Chinese GP 2017 Qualifying Results

1. Hamilton – Mercedes
2. Vettel – Ferrari
3. Bottas – Mercedes
4. Raikkonen – Ferrari
5. Ricciardo – Red Bull
6. Massa – Williams
7. Hulkenberg – Renault
8. Perez – Force India
9. Kvyat – Toro Rosso
10. Stroll – Williams

The Chinese Grand Prix 2017 qualifying kicked off with a 90% chance of rain, and drivers had three options of tires to choose from – medium, soft and supersoft. Sauber’s new man Antonio Giovinazzi was the first one to post a time with a 1m35.437s lap. Lance Stroll later beat that time with a 1m35.136s to take first spot.

More times came in from Magnussen, Hulkenberg and Massa who all exchanged fastest laps. Hamilton went even faster with a 1m33.333s but was later beaten by Vettel with a much faster 1m33.078s. The Ferrari was on softs while Hamilton was on the most favored tire of this session – the supersoft. The yellow flags flew just about the same time when Hamilton was posting his time, resulting to a slower lap, could have been much faster.

While all that was happening, Grosjean spun his Haas on the final corner after losing power, he managed to rejoin the race but with a puncture. Verstappen was reporting problems with his car, and his best time of 1m35.433s only placed him in 17th place. Meanwhile, the Mercedes and Ferrari drivers stayed out after their first fliers.

Yellow flags flew again after Giovinazzi crashed his Haas on the last corner, a costly move for those who were yet to post their final laps. As such, Vandoorne, Grosjean, Palmer, Verstappen and Ocon were all eliminated.

The top ten in Q1 comprised of Vettel, Hamilton, Raikkonen, Bottas, Stroll, Ricciardo, Massa, Kvyat, Hulkenberg and Alonso. All drivers were on supersoft tires except the Ferraris.

Q2 was delayed to allow the marshalls to clear Giovinazzi’s car. Meanwhile, Red Bull confirmed that a software issue was the cause of Verstappen’s troubles in Q1.

When Q2 got underway, supersoft tires seemed to be the favored choice once again. Raikkonen was the first to set a time but Vettel went faster with a 1m32.391s. Hamilton went second, while Bottas slotted in third behind his teammate.

Hamilton was satisfied with his Q2 time, he got of his Mercedes ahead of Q3. This set of tires was critical for the top ten, as it’s the same set they will start on during the main race tomorrow. The Ferraris decided to stay out for another lap, upon which Raikkonen managed a quicker lap to take first spot with a 1m32.181s. That is a new lap record at the Shanghai International Circuit.

Sainz, Magnussen, Alonso, Ericsson and Giovinazzi were eliminated in Q2. The top ten heading into Q3 were Raikkonen, Vettel, Hamilton, Bottas, Ricciardo Hulkenberg, Massa, Perez, Kvyat and Stroll.

Q3 action kicked off in no time, with Hulkenberg heading out first followed by Sainz. Mercedes has won every qualifying at the Chinese Grand Prix for the last five years, while Ferrari has not won pole since Singapore 2015. Hamilton managed to take provisional pole almost immediately with a 1m31.902s, smashing Raikkonen’s lap record from Q2. Vettel went second while Bottas came in third. Hamilton was the only driver to break the 1m 31s barrier after the first fliers.

On the final Q3 runs, Hamilton managed an even faster 1m31.678s with Bottas going second. Vettel beat him to it though seconds later while his teammate settled for fourth behind Bottas. This became Mercedes’ sixth consecutive pole in Shanghai.

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