Qualifying for the 2018 China Grand Prix sees Sebastian Vettel on pole for Ferrari with Raikkonen’s Ferrari in second place. Lewis Hamilton starts fourth for Mercedes.
After the first two Grands Prix of the 2018 season have resulted in, rather surprising, wins for Sebastian Vettel in the Ferrari, the third Grand Prix of the new season in China has seen the same pattern in qualifying.
Following on from the Ferrari front row in Bahrain last week, it’s another Ferrari front row in China, with Sebastian Vettel on pole and Kimi Raikkonen alongside him.
Behind the Ferraris it’s a Mercedes second row, but it’s Bottas starting third with Lewis Hamilton struggling, and starting tomorrow’s race in fourth place.
It’s the first time in seven years the front row in China has been without a Mercedes, and it does look like both Hamilton and Bottas will struggle in the race to usurp the Ferraris: Vettel was over half a second faster in qualifying than Hamilton.
It’s been a great result and I am really happy for the team.
Today the car was amazing and it was great fighting for the front row with both cars on our own. It was very windy and not easy to get the right feeling. However, when the car is quick and works, you get a lot of confidence and that helps. We didn’t expect to be so strong compared to our competition.
Row three for tomorrow’s race is a Red Bull row, with Max Verstappen in fifth and Daniel Ricciardo, who had just a few minutes in Q1 after his engine blew, scraping in to Q2 but claiming sixth place on the grid in Q3.
The rest of the top ten sees Hulkenberg in the Renault in seventh, the Force India of Perez in eighth, the second Renault driven by Sainz in ninth and Romain Grosjean for Haas in 10th.
But it was a pretty miserable qualifying for ‘F1 Team GB’, with the McLarens of Alonso and Vandoorne starting in 13th and 14th, and the Williams of Sirotkin and Stroll a miserable 16th and 18th.