Pole position qualifier Sebastian Vettel celebrates on Saturday during qualifying for the Formula One Grand Prix of China. Picture: Mark Thompson/Getty
Pole position qualifier Sebastian Vettel celebrates on Saturday during qualifying for the Formula One Grand Prix of China. Picture: Mark Thompson/Getty

China GP: can Red Bull produce another miracle?

SEBASTIAN Vettel in a Ferrari set a blistering new lap record as he took pole position for Sunday's Chinese Formula One Grand Prix.

Vettel clocked 1min 31.095sec at the Shanghai International Circuit in final qualifying on Saturday ahead of teammate Kimi Raikkonen in second and Valtteri Bottas in third.

"I was happy with the whole thing, not just the last lap. I knew that if I got a tidy lap I could push them," Vettel said.

"I was happy with the whole lap. The car was amazing. It kept getting better. It looks like on Kimi's side there is more rubber so I need a good start."

Australia's Daniel Ricciardo starts from 6th - an impressive result given his car was in pieces throughout the majority of Q1 and he only made it to the track with seconds to spare.

Pole position qualifier Sebastian Vettel of Germany
Pole position qualifier Sebastian Vettel of Germany

Paying tribute to his mechanics, Ricciardo said: "They did very well, the mechanics should be celebrating, they did a great job.

"What happened this morning is out of their hands, all the pressure is then on them. They did very well, we got out there and six is better than being 20th at the back.

"I saved the thank yous for after the session, I just got out there, we didn't have time to mess around.

"Ferrari has had good pace this weekend. I can't honestly say we will have their pace but Mercedes look within reach. In my mind there is a spot on the podium up for grabs."

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner was also thrilled with the team effort that went into getting Ricciardo on the track.

"What they (engineers) have achieved today is miraculous," he said.

"Getting the engine turned around, getting it dressed and on to the car was herculean. To see Max's engineers jumping on too was what teamwork is.

"The tyres were cold in Q1 going down pit lane, from there on Daniel was able to settle down and get into the rhythm."

STARTING GRID:

1st row Sebastian Vettel (GER/Ferrari) Kimi Raikkonen (FIN/Ferrari)

2nd row Valtteri Bottas (FIN/Mercedes) Lewis Hamilton (GBR/Mercedes)

3rd row Max Verstappen (NED/Red Bull) Daniel Ricciardo (AUS/Red Bull)

4th row Nico Hulkenberg (GER/Renault) Sergio Perez (MEX/Force India)

5th row Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP/Renault) Romain Grosjean (FRA/Haas)

6th row Kevin Magnussen (DEN/Haas) Esteban Ocon (FRA/Force India)

7th row Fernando Alonso (ESP/McLaren) Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL/McLaren)

8th row Brendon Hartley (NZL/Toro Rosso) Sergey Sirotkin (RUS/Williams)

9th row Pierre Gasly (FRA/Toro Rosso) Lance Stroll (CAN/Williams)

10th row Charles Leclerc (MON/Sauber) Marcus Ericsson (SWE/Sauber)

 

Daniel Ricciardo starts from 6th
Daniel Ricciardo starts from 6th

Qualifying Q3:

1. Sebastian Vettel (GER/Ferrari) 1min 31.095sec (lap record)

2. Kimi Raikkonen (FIN/Ferrari) 1:31.182

3. Valtteri Bottas (FIN/Mercedes) 1:31.625

4. Lewis Hamilton (GBR/Mercedes) 1:31.675

5. Max Verstappen (NED/Red Bull) 1:31.796

6. Daniel Ricciardo (AUS/Red Bull) 1:31.948

7. Nico Hulkenberg (GER/Renault) 1:32.532

8. Sergio Perez (MEX/Force India) 1:32.758

9. Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP/Renault) 1:32.819

10. Romain Grosjean (FRA/Haas) 1:32.855

Eliminated in Q2:

11. Kevin Magnussen (DEN/Haas)

12. Esteban Ocon (FRA/Force India)

13. Fernando Alonso (ESP/McLaren)

14. Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL/McLaren)

15. Brendon Hartley (NZL/Toro Rosso)

Eliminated in Q1:

16. Sergey Sirotkin (RUS/Williams)

17. Pierre Gasly (FRA/Toro Rosso)

18. Lance Stroll (CAN/Williams)

19. Charles Leclerc (MON/Sauber)

20. Marcus Ericsson (SWE/Sauber)

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