Formula 1

Bottas Pips Hamilton To China Pole

2 Mins read
Valtteri Bottas - Chinese Grand Prix
Credit: Daimler AG/ Wolfgang Wilhelm

Valtteri Bottas claimed pole position as Mercedes-AMG Motorsport claimed a front lock out for the Chinese Grand Prix.

The Finn pipped his team-mate Lewis Hamilton by two hundredths of a second with the Scuderia Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel in third.

The top ten was all in twos with Charles Leclerc in the second Ferrari fourth.

Max Verstappen was ahead of Pierre Gasly as Red Bull Racing claimed the third row ahead of a resurgent Renault F1 Team with Daniel Ricciardo outqualifying Nico Hülkenberg.

The two Haas F1 Team rounded out the top ten with Kevin Magnussen ahead of Romain Grosjean, however, neither set a flying lap in the final part of qualifying.

Alexander Albon’s crash in Free Practice 3 meant he didn’t take part in qualifying and will start the race at the back of the grid so there was only four spots in the drop zone from the first part of qualifying. That became three when the Alfa Romeo Racing of Antonio Giovinazzi had a problem a failed to set a flying lap. Both Williams Racing unsurprisingly dropped out with George Russell outqualifying Robert Kubica. Lance Stroll was eliminated for the third time this season as he was only sixteenth fastest. At the top of the timing sheets, Bottas lay down the first marker while Leclerc was forced to use a second set of soft tyres after hitting traffic on his first flying lap.

The second part of qualifying saw the congested midfield fight it out for places in the third and final part of qualifying. Daniil Kvyat in the second Scuderia Toro Rosso just missed out in the final dash to the lines at the end of the session as he was less than a tenth of a second off a top ten spot but he will start eleventh. Sergio Pérez squeezed ahead of Kimi Räikkönen with the two McLaren F1 Team in fourteenth and fifteenth with Carlos Sainz Jr. ahead of Lando Norris. At the top of the timing sheets was once again the two Mercedes but most importantly them, the Ferrari’s and Max Verstappen all set their fastest laps on the medium tyres rather than the soft to start the race on.

The pole position shoot-out saw Bottas quickest in the first runs by seven thousandths of a second from team-mate Hamilton while Verstappen split the two Ferrari’s in the opening runs. The second and final runs were just as tight as the opening ones. Hamilton went quickest in the first sector but was unable to dislodge Bottas who went quicker on his second lap. The Ferrari’s closed the gap but were unable to deny Mercedes a front row lock out.

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