Mercedes Valterri Bottas beats team-mate Lewis Hamilton to Pole Position for tomorrow’s Chinese GP with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel in 3rd.
Mercedes Valterri Bottas will be on Pole Position for F1’s 1000th GP in China having taking his first Pole since the Russian GP last year. The Championship leader will start ahead of his Mercedes team-mate, Lewis Hamilton, who was just 0.023s behind in 2nd with the Ferrari’s of Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc who were both 3 tenths adrift of the Finnish driver.
Having topped FP2 and FP3, Bottas has seemed the more confident of the two Mercedes drivers. He then topped Q1 with Hamilton leading the way in Q2 but it was a two great laps in Q3 which secured Bottas a well-deserved pole position.
Mercedes and Ferrari have been neck and neck all weekend with the Scuderia’s power advantage on the straights proving to be a nightmare for the Silver Arrows. However, Mercedes are confident by saying that they would counteract Ferrari’s power advantage by making sure their car was steady and quick in the corners.
Being on the second row of the grid, Vettel and Leclerc are positive that being on the second row of the grid buys the team the better race option. Leclerc had to do two runs in Q1 as he was hampered by traffic.
The Red Bull’s of Max Verstappen and Pierre Gasly were 5th and 6th however Verstappen was annoyed as he felt he could have fought for 3rd if it wasn’t for traffic issues on his final Q3 run. There was finally some good news for Gasly to qualify 6th but 8 tenths behind Verstappen will be still a bit of concern.
There was smiles at Renault. Daniel Ricciardo finally managed to out-qualify Nico Hulkenberg to 7th and 8th and more importantly ahead of the American Haas team who did not choose to run. Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean in 9th and 10th decided not to run in Q3.
Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat was looking good to creep into the top 10 but 11th and with a free choice of tyres might be better for the Russian driver come race day. Racing Point’s Sergio Perez headed Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen in 12th and 13th ahead of the McLaren’s of Carlos Sainz Jr and Lando Norris in 14th and 15th.
Racing Point’s Lance Stroll was eliminated in Q1 for the 7th time in succession and for the 3rd time this season. The Williams pair of George Russell and Robert Kubica were evenly matched but were nearly 1 second slower than Stroll in 16th.
Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi who has had a disappointing weekend so far, through no fault of his own, did not take part in Qualifying due to power unit issue. Toro Rosso’s Alexander Albon also didn’t take part in Qualifying as the team were still rebuilding his car after the British born Thai driver crashed heavily in the final minutes of FP3.
Chinese Qualifying Result
1.Bottas 2.Hamilton 3.Vettel 4.Leclerc 5.Verstappen 6.Gasly 7.Ricciardo 8.Hulkenberg 9.Magnussen 10.Grosjean 11.Kvyat 12.Perez 13.Raikkonen 14.Sainz Jr 15.Norris 16.Stroll 17.Russell 18.Kubica No Time: Giovinazzi & Albon
- Valterri Bottas’s first Pole Position since Russia last year is the first time that he been able to out-qualify team-mate Lewis Hamilton.
- Making it into Q3 was Pierre Gasly’s first appearance in the top for Red Bull.
- With Kimi Raikkonen in 13th, it ended a a 53-Grand Prix streak of making it to Q3, the longest consecutive run of any driver on the grid.