Ferrari's Vettel takes pole for Chinese GP

Ferrari's Vettel takes pole for Chinese GP

Ferrari's Vettel takes pole for Chinese GP

Vettel had the quickest lap in qualifying, posting a time of 1 minute, 31.095 seconds, on the 5.451-kilometer course.

Sebastian Vettel led Kimi Raikkonen in a Ferrari front-row lockout as the Italian team dominated yesterday's qualifying for the Chinese Grand Prix.

The forecast is for a warmer race today and that should be better suited to Hamilton's Mercedes vehicle, but the Briton, who will have the Red Bull duo of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo occupying his mirrors, fears he will be looking over his shoulder rather than hunting down Vettel.

Hamilton was the best part of half-a-second down on Vettel, who will be the favourite to convert his pole into a third victory and extend his championship lead.

Red Bull's Max Verstappen qualified fifth ahead of team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, who made it out on track just in time, with the former champions working furiously to change his engine after it blew in the final practice session.

On one hand, Daniel Ricciardo staged a spectacular charge from sixth place to first in the space of 10 laps to take the prize, fending off Valtteri Bottas to the line.

"By the end of the day the pace was looking good and I think we can be happy with the car's performance". "It was a tight session but I think again a great result for the team". "I think if we do our homework, if we get the auto balance right and we get everything together, then it should be a good weekend - I don't see why not". No driver has won the opening three rounds and not gone on to take the title.

"I knew I had a bit more and the last lap I got it all together".

Kevin Magnussen was seventh for the USA -owned Haas team ahead of the other Renault of Spaniard Carlos Sainz.

Lewis Hamilton in action at the Shanghai International circuit. Bottas withstood late pressure from Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen to finish second but after the race his thoughts were on an opportunity lost. They are two extremes like we had in Bahrain and I think this is what happened. Mercedes look to be quick but Ferrari aren't too far behind.

Last year Vettel, who had problems using Verstappen, explained the crash was needless.

F1's tight midfield battle is nearly as engrossing as the battle at the head of the field given the quality of drivers in teams like Haas-Ferrari, Renault F1, McLaren-Renault, Force India-Mercedes and Toro Rosso-Honda and how close they are to each other.

Red Bull stole a march on the field by switching their drivers to new tyres and Verstappen promptly went on the attack but the young Dutchman ran off when trying an ambitious pass on Hamilton.

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