Lewis Hamilton was in a class of his own in tricky conditions as the Briton maintained Mercedes’ 100% pole position record in 2014. Persistent rain in Shanghai made life difficult for the drivers but Hamilton made it look relatively easy, beating Daniel Ricciardo to pole by over half a second.
Hamilton had looked the favourite through the two knockout sessions and duly delivered on that potential with a 1:53.860 but his teammate Nico Rosberg buckled under the pressure with two mistakes on his final two laps of Q3. On the first, Nico locked a front wheel under braking for the hairpin and although he cleared that hurdle second time around, the German slid off at the final corner to end his pole position challenge.
The errors proved costly as Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel squeezed their Red Bulls between the two Mercedes, relegating Rosberg to fourth. Ricciardo’s performance was particularly impressive with the Australian half a second quicker and now 3-1 ahead of his world champion teammate in their qualifying head-to-head.
Fernando Alonso wrestled his Ferrari up to fifth ahead of the Williams of Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas with Nico Hulkenberg eighth in the sole Force India to reach Q3. Jean-Eric Vergne will start ninth for Toro Rosso and will be joined on row five by compatriot Romain Grosjean who produced a stellar performance to take Lotus into Q3.
Kimi Raikkonen’s tough start to his second spell at Ferrari continued, the Finn falling at the second Qualifying hurdle. Raikkonen lines up eleventh alongside fellow world champion Jenson Button with both McLarens joining the second Ferrari in the Q2 drop zone.
|2014 UBS CHINESE GRAND PRIX – QUALIFYING RESULT|
|1||44. LEWIS HAMILTON||MERCEDES||INTER||1:53.860|
|2||3. DANIEL RICCIARDO||RED BULL RACING RENAULT||INTER||1:54.455|
|3||1. SEBASTIAN VETTEL||RED BULL RACING RENAULT||INTER||1:54.960|
|4||6. NICO ROSBERG||MERCEDES||INTER||1:55.143|
|5||14. FERNANDO ALONSO||FERRARI||INTER||1:55.637|
|6||19. FELIPE MASSA||WILLIAMS MERCEDES||INTER||1:56.147|
|7||77. VALTTERI BOTTAS||WILLIAMS MERCEDES||INTER||1:56.282|
|8||27. NICO HULKENBERG||FORCE INDIA MERCEDES||INTER||1:56.366|
|9||25. JEAN-ERIC VERGNE||STR RENAULT||INTER||1:56.773|
|10||8. ROMAIN GROSJEAN||LOTUS RENAULT||INTER||1:57.079|
|ELIMINATED IN Q2|
|11||7. KIMI RAIKKONEN||FERRARI||INTER||1:56.860|
|12||22. JENSON BUTTON||McLAREN MERCEDES||INTER||1:56.963|
|13||26. DANIIL KVYAT||STR RENAULT||INTER||1:57.289|
|14||99. ADRIAN SUTIL||SAUBER FERRARI||INTER||1:57.393|
|15||20. KEVIN MAGNUSSEN||McLAREN MERCEDES||INTER||1:57.675|
|16||11. SERGIO PEREZ||FORCE INDIA MERCEDES||INTER||1:58.264|
|ELIMINATED IN Q1|
|17||21. ESTEBAN GUTIERREZ||SAUBER FERRARI||INTER||1:58.988|
|18||10. KAMUI KOBAYASHI||CATERHAM RENAULT||INTER||1:59.260|
|19||17. JULES BIANCHI||MARUSSIA FERRARI||INTER||1:59.326|
|20||9. MARCUS ERICSSON||CATERHAM RENAULT||INTER||2:00.646|
|21||4. MAX CHILTON||MARUSSIA FERRARI||INTER||2:00.865|
|Q1 107% TIME: 2:03.602|
|22||13. PASTOR MALDONADO||LOTUS RENAULT||n/a||NO TIME|