Third-straight pole for Hamilton at Shanghai

Third-straight pole for Hamilton at Shanghai

11th Apr 2015 2:54 pm

Hamilton had been strong favourite for pole after topping all three practice sessions and Q2.

Lewis Hamilton fended off Mercedes Formula 1 team-mate Nico Rosberg by less than half a tenth of a second to take Chinese Grand Prix pole at Shanghai, maintaining his perfect qualifying record in 2015.

Hamilton had been strong favourite for pole after topping all three practice sessions and Q2.

A 1m35.782s on his first Q3 run emphasised that status, with Rosberg three tenths adrift at that point.

But it became closer in the final battle, with Hamilton unable to improve and Rosberg closing to within 0.042s.

Malaysian GP winner Sebastian Vettel was nearly a second off Hamilton's pole time in third place for Ferrari.

That denied the resurgent Williams of Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas, which were top-three contenders but ultimately found themselves three tenths and half a second down on Vettel respectively.

They still beat the second Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen, who was sixth ahead of Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo.

Daniil Kvyat failed to reach Q3 for the second time in three appearances with Red Bull, taking 12th.

Romain Grosjean was eighth for Lotus, while his team-mate Pastor Maldonado missed out on Q3 by just 0.007s and will start 11th.

Sauber was the midfield underdog starring in Q3 this time, securing the fifth row places with Felipe Nasr and Marcus Ericsson.

By contrast the Toro Rossos were left out in Q2. Max Verstappen, who locked up heavily on his last run, and Carlos Sainz Jr share row seven.

McLaren's encouraging Friday times proved deceptive as Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso found themselves out in Q1 and on row nine, just 0.004s apart.

They were at least within a tenth of the Force Indias. Nico Hulkenberg only got ahead of Button with a final Q1 effort, while Sergio Perez scraped through into Q2 then languished seven tenths off the Toro Rossos.

The Manor-run Marussias were 3s off the tail of the field but made the 107 per cent target in Q1 so are both clear to start the race, Will Stevens ahead of Roberto Merhi.

QUALIFYING RESULTS:

PosDriverCarTimeGap
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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