Nico Rosberg grabs Chinese GP pole, Lewis Hamilton starts last

Nico Rosberg claimed Chinese Grand Prix Formula 1 pole, while Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo squeezed Ferrari off the front row and Lewis Hamilton ended up last

Nico Rosberg grabs Chinese GP pole, Lewis Hamilton starts last

A grid penalty for reigning world champion Hamilton meant he was never going to start on pole, but his Mercedes failed to even figure in the fight thanks to an ERS problem that meant he failed to escape Q1.

Friday practice pacesetter Kimi Raikkonen was on provisional pole after the first runs in Q3, but he made a mistake at the penultimate corner and failed to improve.

Team-mate Sebastian Vettel only made one run in Q3, but that was only good enough for fourth spot.

Ricciardo therefore stole into second with a rapid final effort in his Red Bull, 0.055 seconds faster than Raikkonen's Ferrari but over half a second down on Rosberg, who got through Q2 on soft tyres and can consequently start the race on a different strategy to the other frontrunning cars.

The Williams of Valtteri Bottas was fifth fastest, fractionally slower than Vettel, while the second Red Bull of Daniil Kvyat rounded out the top six.

Sergio Perez was seventh fastest for Force India, ahead of the Toro Rossos of Carlos Sainz Jr and Max Verstappen.

The second Force India of Nico Hulkenberg rounded out the top-10, but his team will likely be penalised for an unsafe release after his car shed its left front wheel in the dying minutes of Q2.

NEWS UPDATE: Hulkenberg gets grid penalty

That prevented any drivers from completing second runs in this segment, and meant Felipe Massa's Williams missed out on the top 10 by just 0.014s to Hulkenberg.

The two McLarens of Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button, Romain Grosjean's Haas, and the Saubers of Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr completed the top 16 in that order.

All were denied new-tyre second runs thanks to the Hulkenberg incident and therefore had to rely on the 'banker' times they set on used rubber at the start of Q2.

Alonso groaned repeatedly with exasperation when told over McLaren's radio that he would have to abort his second run, while team-mate Button's response was "are you kidding me?! One day we'll show our true pace".

Kevin Magnussen's Renault and the second Haas-Ferrari of Esteban Gutierrez both fell at the first hurdle of qualifying, thanks to late improvements from the Saubers.

Magnussen, who lost most of Friday's dry running to a rear suspension problem, almost did enough with his final flying lap, but Nasr bumped him out by less than a hundredth of a second.

Gutierrez ended up 18th fastest, paying the price for Haas completing its second Q1 runs too early as the track improved.

The second Renault of Jolyon Palmer was nearly eight tenths slower in 19th, but well ahead of Rio Haryanto's Manor-Mercedes.

Hamilton's ERS problems meant he failed to set a time in qualifying, but he will start last on account of a five-place grid penalty for an unscheduled gearbox change ahead of this weekend.

Bahrain qualifying star Pascal Wehrlein also failed to set a time, after the Mercedes junior driver lost control of his slick-shod car over a wet patch on the start/finish straight and glanced the barriers in the early stages of Q1.

That accident caused a lengthy delay to the session as marshals attempted to dry out this part of the circuit with a track sweeper.

QUALIFYING RESULT

Pos Driver Car Time Gap
1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m35.402s -
2 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1m35.917s 0.515s
3 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m35.972s 0.570s
4 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m36.246s 0.844s
5 Valtteri Bottas Williams/Mercedes 1m36.296s 0.894s
6 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull/Renault 1m36.399s 0.997s
7 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1m36.865s 1.463s
8 Carlos Sainz Jr. Toro Rosso/Ferrari 1m36.881s 1.479s
9 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso/Ferrari 1m37.194s 1.792s
10 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1m37.347s -
11 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 1m38.826s -
12 Jenson Button McLaren/Honda 1m39.093s -
13 Nico Hulkenberg Force India/Mercedes - -
14 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1m39.830s -
15 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1m40.742s -
16 Felipe Nasr Sauber/Ferrari 1m42.430s -
17 Kevin Magnussen Renault 1m38.673s -
18 Esteban Gutierrez Haas/Ferrari 1m38.770s -
19 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1m39.528s -
20 Rio Haryanto Manor/Mercedes 1m40.264s -
21 Pascal Wehrlein Manor/Mercedes - -
22 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes - -


shares
comments
Red Bull F1 team could trial canopy cockpit system at Russian GP

Previous article

Red Bull F1 team could trial canopy cockpit system at Russian GP

Next article

Red Bull’s Ricciardo thinks he can resist Ferrari in Chinese GP

Red Bull’s Ricciardo thinks he can resist Ferrari in Chinese GP
Load comments
The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1 Plus

The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1

OPINION: With its days apparently numbered, the MGU-H looks set to be dropped from Formula 1’s future engine rules in order to entice new manufacturers in. While it may appear a change of direction, the benefits for teams and fans could make the decision a worthwhile call

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots Plus

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots

Team Lotus ceased to exist in 1994 - and yet various parties have been trying to resurrect the hallowed name, in increasingly unrecognisable forms, ever since. DAMIEN SMITH brings GP Racing’s history of the legendary team to an end with a look at those who sought to keep the flame alive in Formula 1

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background Plus

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background

OPINION: Formula 1 reconvenes for the Russian Grand Prix two weeks after the latest blow in ‘Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton’. While the Silverstone and Monza incidents were controversial, they thankfully lacked one element that so far separates the 2021 title fight from the worst examples of ugly championship battles

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus Plus

How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus

Mika Hakkinen became Michael Schumacher’s biggest rival in Formula 1 in the late-90s and early 2000s, having also made his F1 debut in 1991. But as MARK GALLAGHER recalls, while Schumacher wowed the world with a car that was eminently capable, Hakkinen was fighting to make his mark with a famous team in terminal decline

Formula 1
Sep 21, 2021
The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey  Plus

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey 

Before Michael Schumacher – or anyone else – had driven the 191 (or 911 as it was initially called), Eddie Jordan turned to a fellow Irishman to test his new Formula 1 car. JOHN WATSON, a grand prix winner for Penske and McLaren, recalls his role in the birth of a legend…

Formula 1
Sep 20, 2021
The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Plus

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says STUART CODLING

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2021
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Plus

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix crash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2021
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Plus

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021