Lewis Hamilton certainly feels at home on the Shanghai track after securing pole position for Sunday’s Chinese Grand Prix. It’s the fifth time he’s done so on the track and that allows him to join Ayrton Senna, Michael Schumacher and Juan Manuel Fango as the only drivers to score five or more poles at one track.
It was a Mercedes one-two in qualifying with Hamilton just 0.042 seconds ahead of Rosberg. Back in third was Malaysian Grand Prix winner Sebastian Vettel but he was nearly a second behind Hamilton. Williams had a good qualifying session with Massa and Bottas in fourth and fifth with Ferrari’s Raikkonen in sixth over a second and a half behind Hamilton. It was another disappointing qualifying for McLaren with Button in 17th and Alonso a further place behind. Button said his car didn’t “feel bad” but “the lap time is not there.”
So can Mercedes dominate the Chinese Grand Prix? Well it’s looking likely but there could still be some hope for Ferrari. Again tyres could come into play but with temperatures a lot cooler than in Malaysia it looks like being another good weekend for Hamilton and Rosberg.
After qualifying Hamilton said: “We have a tough race ahead of us – the Ferraris are strong on lone-run pace – so it is not over by any means.” Sebastian Vettel is hopeful of a second win in a row: “Hopefully we can race them tomorrow. It is a long race and tyres are important. We do hope to do well and get a lot more points.”
The Chinese Grand Prix takes place at the Shanghai International Circuit which when completed in 2004 was the most expensive Formula One circuit facility costing $240m.
- The track is 5.451km long and is known for having one of the trickiest corners combinations on the F1 Calendar.
- No driver has won the Chinese Grand Prix two years in a row. Another target for 2014 winner Lewis Hamilton.
- Lewis Hamilton has won the race three times and been on pole Five times and twice he went on to win the race.
- The car starting on pole has won the Chinese Grand Prix four times in the past seven races.
- Only Lewis Hamilton in 2008 has started on pole, set the fastest lap and won the race.
- Jenson Button holds the record for leading the most Chinese Grand Prix finding himself in front of the field on six occasions. One thinks his chances of making it seven this year are pretty slim.