Vettel Takes Pole In China, Pips Raikkonen

Sebastian Vettel earned his fourth pole in China, after beating his teammate, Kimi Raikkonen by 0.084s at the Shanghai International Circuit. The Scuderia were better than their works rivals, Silver Arrows, as Bottas and Hamilton finished P3 and P4, to lock down the second row. Raikkonen was the leader of the pack heading into Q3, […]

Sebastian Vettel earned his fourth pole in China, after beating his teammate, Kimi Raikkonen by 0.084s at the Shanghai International Circuit.

The Scuderia were better than their works rivals, Silver Arrows, as Bottas and Hamilton finished P3 and P4, to lock down the second row.

Raikkonen was the leader of the pack heading into Q3, but Vettel was the quickest in the final third, pipping the Finn to his 52nd career pole.

Hamilton opted not to race in Q3 and his spot was there for the taking, but Red Bull duo, Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo could only finish P5 and P6, failing to take the initiative.

Ricciardo came out late after the pit light went green, with his mechanics trying to fit a new power unit, after a suspected turbo issue in FP3. He finally came out and avoided the elimination zone by a tenth.

Vettel was the early leader 1m32.171s, three tenths clear of Raikkonen, as Verstappen split the Mercedes team in P4.

Williams and Sauber got eliminated in Q1, with Pierre Gasly disappointingly ending in P17, after a brilliant race in Bahrain.

Mercedes and Ferrari rolled out for Q2 on soft tyres and Raikkonen raced to the top with an advantage of 0.099. Verstappen, once again split the Silver Arrows team, as they struggled to impress.

The Woking team could not make it past Q2, and they were joined by Magnussen in P11, Ocon in P12 and Hartley in P15.

Raikkonen who put himself on provisional pole with a rapid 1:31.200. Vettel could not match him and was a tenth down in P2, while Bottas and Hamilton were four tenths back in P3 and P4 respectively. Red Bull in their familiar spot on the third row.

 

Bottas could not improve on his time, while Hamilton aborted his lap and headed straight back to the pits.

 

Raikkonen found improvement by 0.018 seconds but Vettel once again got the better of his team-mate, pipping him by 0.084 seconds.

Qualifying timesheet:

1 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:31.095

2 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:31.182 0.087

3 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:31.625 0.53

4 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:31.675 0.58

5 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:31.796 0.701

6 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:31.948 0.853

7 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1:32.532 1.437

8 Sergio Perez Force India 1:32.758 1.663

9 Carlos Sainz Renault 1:32.819 1.724

10 Romain Grosjean Haas 1:32.855 1.76

11 Kevin Magnussen Haas 1:32.986

12 Esteban Ocon Force India 1:33.057

13 Fernando Alonso McLaren 1:33.232

14 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren 1:33.505

15 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso 1:33.795

16 Sergey Sirotkin Williams 1:34.062

17 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso 1:34.101

18 Lance Stroll Williams 1:34.285

19 Charles Leclerc Sauber 1:34.454

20 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1:34.914

 

 

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