If there were any doubts about Mercedes’ position at the front of the field in Formula 1 following Sebastian Vettel’s victory for Ferrari in Malaysia, then they will surely have been answered on Saturday in China as Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg locked out the front row of the grid for the German marque.
After finishing fastest in every single practice session in Shanghai, Hamilton proved to be the man to beat once again in qualifying as he claimed his fifth pole position at the Chinese Grand Prix with a fine lap.
However, he was fortunate not to lose out to Rosberg at the end after failing to improve his time on his second run in Q3.
The German driver came agonizingly close to his first pole position of the season, finishing just 0.042 seconds behind Hamilton for P1. Alas, the Briton was able to celebrate his third pole position of the year, continuing his 100% qualifying record in 2015.
Vettel was unable to get amongst the Mercedes drivers on the front row in China, finishing nine-tenths of a second behind Hamilton in third place. He may have given the Silver Arrows a shock last time out, but he faces a stiff challenge to hang onto their coattails in Shanghai on Sunday.
The battle for the points promises to be a close one as Williams, Red Bull, Toro Rosso and Sauber jockey for position, whilst Lotus and even McLaren hold hopes of a breakthrough top-ten finish in China.
You can watch the Chinese Grand Prix live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 1:30am ET on Sunday.
FROM THE STEWARDS’ OFFICE
- There are no concerns about Manor’s participation in this weekend’s race as both Will Stevens and Roberto Merhi qualified inside the 107% time.
STARTING GRID FOR THE 2015 CHINESE GRAND PRIX
1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
2. Nico Rosberg Mercedes
3. Sebastian Vettel Ferrari
4. Felipe Massa Williams
5. Valtteri Bottas Williams
6. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari
7. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull
8. Romain Grosjean Lotus
9. Felipe Nasr Sauber
10. Marcus Ericsson Sauber
11. Pastor Maldonado Lotus
12. Daniil Kvyat Red Bull
13. Max Verstappen Toro Rosso
14. Carlos Sainz Jr. Toro Rosso
15. Sergio Perez Force India
16. Nico Hulkenberg Force India
17. Jenson Button McLaren
18. Fernando Alonso McLaren
19. Will Stevens Manor
20. Roberto Merhi Manor