Scuderia Ferrari had its second consecutive front row lockout of the 2018 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season, with Sebastian Vettel nipping teammate Kimi Raikkonen to take the pole for Sunday’s Chinese Grand Prix.
Raikkonen had been on the pole for much of Q3, and even bettered his own time on his final run, clocking in a time of 1:31.182. However, only seconds later, Vettel eclipsed that time by less than one tenth of a second, turning a 1:31.095 on his final run to grab the pole, setting a new lap record around the Shanghai International Circuit in the process.
The second consecutive all-Ferrari front row is the first time the team has achieved such a feat since 2006, at the U.S. Grand Prix and the French Grand Prix.
Mercedes AMG Petronas saw Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton qualify third and fourth, with neither driver able to get within range of the Ferraris at any point during qualifying and ultimately falling half a second behind them at the end of Q3.
Of note: Ferrari and Mercedes will start the race on the soft compound Pirellis – they used those tires during Q2, which locks in which tires teams will use to start the race. All other Top 10 qualifiers will start on the ultrasofts.
Red Bull Racing saw Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo qualify fifth and sixth, with the team making a herculean effort to get Ricciardo into qualifying after they had to make a power unit change following third practice. They were able to get Ricciardo out for Q1 with only a couple minutes remaining, giving him just enough time to turn in a lap good enough to advance him into Q2.
Renault Sport F1 Team’s Nico Hulkenberg was seventh, followed by Sahara Force India’s Sergio Perez in eighth. Carlos Sainz Jr. was ninth in the sister Renault, while Haas F1 Team’s Romain Grosjean rounded out the Top 10.
Scuderia Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly, who finished fourth at the Bahrain Grand Prix last weekend, failed to advance out of Q1, qualifying 17th.
Results are below. Sunday’s Chinese Grand Prix rolls off at 2:00 a.m. ET.