Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel Takes Pole Position At Chinese GP Ahead Of Mercedes

Lynette Rowe
April 16, 2018

Hamilton dominated practice here yesterday, but the Mercedes cars had no answer to Ferrari in qualifying with Sebastian Vettel leading a front-row lockout ahead of team-mate Kimi Raikkonen for the second weekend in succession.

The German's best time of one minute, 31.095 seconds - a Shanghai circuit record - turned up the heat on a chilly afternoon with Finnish team mate Kimi Raikkonen joining him on the front row.

This comes after Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel managed to beat the Mercedes drivers to victory in the first two races of the 2018 season.

Adding to his disappointment, Bottas's pace relative to the Ferraris was much better than it had been in qualifying, when neither he nor team mate Lewis Hamilton - who finished fourth - could get near the Italian cars.

Hamilton will be the favorite despite missing the pole.

Vettel said even he was surprised at the gap in qualifying times between Ferrari and Mercedes, who have won five of the last six Shanghai races.

The allowed Red Bull to pit both its drivers for fresh tyres, triggering a phenomenal charge through the field by Ricciardo, who caught and passed Bottas lap 45 despite being squeezed on the inside of the corner by the Finn.

More news: I don't win boring races! - Ricciardo on insane China win

The Dutch youngster later apologised in person to Vettel and to his Red Bull team on social media.

MercedesAMG' Valtteri Bottas lines up in 3rd.

"We are only two races in, but I arrived here thinking I want to win the next 19", Hamilton said. I think everybody has been through those kinds of things.

"The auto was really incredible, it just kept getting better". Lewis Hamilton starts fourth for Mercedes.

The second Renault of Carlos Sainz Jr. was only 0.061 seconds behind Perez and Haas-Ferrari's Romain Grosjean was only 0.036 seconds behind Sainz to complete the top ten. "The fans here in China have been unbelievable, I hope they know I'll do everything to fight for them tomorrow." . The Ferrari proved more forgiving in switching on its tyres and maintaining their grip, whereas Mercedes lacked temperature in their rubber. Red Bull in that regard will be happy with their position on the grid as their Renault power doesn't possess this mode. Vettel will certainly be hoping so - no driver has ever won the first three races in a championship season and gone on to lose the title...

Vettel, who finished second in Shanghai previous year, has five career podium finishes at this race but his only win came all the way back in 2009, so don't be surprised if Hamilton and Mercedes get back to their winning ways this weekend.

Despite being given a tow by McLaren teammate Stoffel Vandoorne, Fernando Alonso failed to reach the top ten.

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

Discuss This Article