Could F1 have its sixth different winner in China in last six years?

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The Chinese Grand Prix has thrown up a few surprises to win over the last five years, with five different drivers taking the win.

In 2009, it was Sebastian Vettel, scoring the first win for the Red Bull team. McLaren won in 2010 and 2011 with Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton, respectively, with Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg capturing his first career win in 2012 and Ferrari emerging on top with Fernando Alonso last year.

On pure pace for 2014, you’d have to say Hamilton or Rosberg will once again take it for Mercedes and end the run of different winners at the Shanghai International Circuit.

But if you’re looking for a spoiler, just look to any of the finishers from P3-P8 in Bahrain.

Daniel Ricciardo has emerged as a worthy teammate to Vettel at Red Bull thus far; the Force India squad scored a podium with Sergio Perez and a second straight top five with Nico Hulkenberg; Williams was in podium position with Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas before the safety car. And if Vettel were to win, it would keep up the five winners in five years stat.

Ferrari, meanwhile, seem less likely to pull the upset. Raikkonen won in 2007 but only after Hamilton ran aground in the pit lane in the penultimate round of the season.

We’ll see if the field has closed the gap to the Mercedes this weekend.

Josef Newgarden wins pole for Grand Prix of Alabama

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With time running off the clock, Josef Newgarden lapped Barber Motorsports Park with a speed of 122.773 mph to win his third career pole and first on this track in the Grand Prix of Alabama.

Newgarden was .0128 seconds faster than teammate Scott Dixon in second.

Newgarden has two previous wins at Barber. He won last year’s edition of this race after starting seventh and in 2015 from fifth.

“I didn’t know if that was going to be enough,” Newgarden said after winning the pole.

“Team Chevy has done a good job,” Newgarden said. “They’ve really given us good power this weekend – good driveability. We’re going to need some fuel mileage tomorrow, which I think we’ll have. But it’s going to get mixed up with the rain.”

Dixon’s lap of 122.750 mph was not quite enough.

“I’m sure you could pick out a number of different things on a lap when it’s that close,” Power said about what made the slight difference between him and Newgarden. “A little mistake out of 9; a little lift here or there.”

Sebastien Bourdais (122.605 mph) qualified third, with Ryan Hunter-Reay (122.159) and James Hinchliffe (121.859) rounding out the top five.

Scott Dixon was the last driver in the top six.

Fast 12

Newgarden topped this chart with a speed of 123.475 mph.

He brought Power, James Hinchcliffe, Scott Dixon, Ryan Hunter-Reay, and Sebastien Bourdais along with him to the Fast 6.

Marco Andretti (122.480), Alexander Rossi (122.216), Simon Pagenaud (122.050), Robert Wickens (122.042), Zach Veach (121.784) and Ed Jones (120.984) failed to advance.

Round 1, Group 1

Newgarden posted the fastest single lap in round one, group one of qualification for the Grand Prix of Alabama with a speed of 122.550 mph.

Hunter-Reay, Hinchcliffe, Wickens, and Andretti also advance to the fast 12.

Taking the final slot was Jones with a speed of 119.835 mph after an off-course excursion in final practice.

This was Andretti’s first advancement to the fast 12 for the first time since 2014.

Round 1, Group 2

Power had the fastest lap of 121.570 mph.

Bourdais, Veach (who is battling food poisoning-like symptoms), Rossi, and Pagenaud grabbed positions 2-4.

Scott Dixon had an uncharacteristically slow lap of 121.006, but managed to advance to the fast 12 when the session was red-flagged for an incident involving Tony Kanaan.

With three minutes remaining, Kanaan spun into the tire barriers while leaving pit road. Since he brought out the red flag, he lost his qualification time of 119.996 mph.

Takuma Sato had slipped off-course midway through the session and posted only the Ninth-fastest speed of 120.789 mph.

Results are below. The Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama rolls off at 3:00 p.m. ET.