Lewis Hamilton secured his first pole position for Mercedes AMG at the Shanghai International Circuit today. Team-mate Nico Rosberg qualified in fourth place and will start from the second row of the grid.
Both drivers completed just one run on the soft compound option tyre in each of three qualifying sessions. Lewis finished top of the timesheets in every session and secured pole by just over two and a half tenths. Nico Rosberg qualified in fourth place, despite losing time in P3 this morning with a hydraulics problem.
Lewis Hamilton, F1 W04 / 04, 1st: "Pole position is a great result for us today and to achieve it in my third race for the team is such a good feeling. I had to make sure the radio was off after my engineer told me I had pole because I was so excited! None of us expected this level of performance at this stage of the season and it's a real bonus. The guys have just been working away, pushing really hard, and I'm so pleased for everyone back at the factories and here at the track that I've been able to deliver my first pole in a Silver Arrow. It would be great to convert the position in the race tomorrow but it's going to be a challenge and we're realistic about how tough the race will be. The soft tyres don't last for very long, and with a couple of quick guys starting on the mediums, it'll be interesting to see how the race plays out. I'm looking forward to it and will give it my all."
Nico Rosberg, F1 W04 / 03, 4th, "A very good team result today and P4 is a decent grid position for me. I wasn't able to do my qualifying simulation this morning due to the hydraulic problem which was a bit unfortunate. So I needed to catch up through the qualifying sessions and find my way. I took some settings from Lewis for the initial set-up which worked out well. I made a small mistake at the last corner on my lap in Q3 which cost maybe a tenth and a couple of places. But I'm in a good position for the race and we've worked a lot on the race performance this weekend so I hope we can gain some places tomorrow. It's going to be an interesting race with some of the guys starting on the medium tyres so let's see what happens."
Ross Brawn, Team Principal: "A great qualifying session for us today and all credit to Lewis, Nico and the team for a strong performance. It's a nice reward for all the hard work both here at the track and back at our factories in Brackley and Brixworth over the winter and in the last few weeks as we continue to develop the car. However there are no points gained on a Saturday as they say and there is a tough job ahead of us tomorrow to convert our qualifying positions. It's going to be a fascinating race from a strategy and tyre perspective so we will wait and see how it plays out. Congratulations to Lewis today on his first pole position in a Silver Arrow, and to Nico for achieving fourth place and the second row despite losing his qualifying simulation this morning."
Toto Wolff, Executive director: "Congratulations to Lewis and Nico. We're really happy about our pole position today at the Chinese Grand Prix, which the team achieved for the second year in a row. Lewis's performance was excellent and Nico also did a great job to qualify in fourth place following a hydraulic problem which prevented him from completing his qualifying run in practice this morning. Today's results are a nice reward for everybody at the team who have worked so hard during the winter to develop the F1 W04 into a competitive car. However we will not get ahead of ourselves with this result as we expect an interesting race which will be decided by the different tyre strategies. A few competitors have chosen to qualify on prime tyres to run a longer first stint instead of the options which we and most of the runners used in Q3."