Lewis Hamilton secured pole position for the Chinese Grand Prix, narrowly edging out his team mate. The duo however were sure of their front row starting positions, topping third fastest man Vettel by nearly a full second.
As the session kicked off, Roberto Mehri and Fernando Alonso were the first men to hit the track. A few minutes later, Vettel and Raikkonen are out on track as well, followed by many other competitors.
While Alonso's lap on the medium was an installation lap, Merhi set the first time on the board, followed by the Ferrari drivers with Vettel setting the fastest time, a full second quicker than the Finn.
After Hamilton set the fastest time on the board, 2 tenths quicker than his teammate, both running on the medium tyre. Nico Hulkenberg settled in third on the options, followed by Nasr and Perez. Vettel was 6th, ahead of Raikkonen. Both Ferrari's were similarly on the medium tyre, followed by Alonso in 9th on the softs.
Meanwhile, Bottas and Massa awaited their ideal moment and only came out on track 11 minutes into the session, both on the option tyres. As he completed his lap, Bottas immediately ended up on top of the timesheet with Massa slotting into third about 15 seconds later.
The Williams cars were soon followed by most others, having another go on the soft tyres. In the end, that meant improvements pushed Hulkenberg out of Q2, getting eliminated in 16th place, ahead of Button, Alonso Stevens and Merhi. Interestingly, Alonso is 18th at 1.778s from Bottas while 19th placed man Stevens is a massive 4.589 seconds down.
Session two was dominated by soft tyre running in the knowledge that a run on mediums would not suffice to progress into the final part of qualifying. Hamilton was again quickest, completing a single flying lap in Q2. Rosberg was second fastest, ahead of Vettel, Raikkonen, Massa and Bottas.
Eliminated are Maldonado, Kvyat, Verstappen, Sainz and Perez. Verstappen notably made a mistake under braking at turn 14, possibly causing him to miss a place in Q3.
The action kicked off quickly in Q3 with only Nasr and Ericsson staying in the pits during the first minute of the session. As expected, Hamilton immediately set the benchmark, topping Rosberg by 0.280s and Massa by more than 1.5s. Ferrari commenced with flying laps on used soft tyres, but at the end of the session pulled all stops for a final flyer. Still, Vettel, who ended up fastest of the two, qualified 3rd, almost a full second behind the Mercedes AMG F1 cars.
Felipe Massa set the 4th fastest time, 2 tenths quicker than his team mate in 5th and ahead of the second Ferrari from Kimi Raikkonen. Daniel Ricciardo was the fastest Red Bull driver, ahead of Grosjean in the Lotus and the two Saubers of Nasr and Ericsson.
|7||3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Racing||1:38.534||1:37.939||1:37.540||18|
|12||26||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull Racing||1:39.051||1:38.209||-||13|
|13||33||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso||1:38.387||1:38.393||-||14|
|14||55||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso||1:38.622||1:38.538||-||14|
|15||11||Sergio Perez||Force India||1:38.903||1:39.290||-||10|
|16||27||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India||1:39.216||-||-||6|