Monday, 25 June, 2018

Ricciardo puts on masterclass as Verstappen hits Vettel in Shanghai thriller

Lewis Hamilton GETTYLewis Hamilton has time to make
Cassandra Gardner | 16 April, 2018, 01:42

Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari will be on the pole for Sunday's Chinese Grand Prix as he looks for his third straight victory to start the season.

The German's flying lap ensured back-to-back front row lockouts for Ferrari for the first time in 12 years despite Vettel admitting to being a bit wobbly on some turns in cold qualifying conditions.

Sebastian Vettel has sensationally snatched pole from Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen in a thrilling end to qualifying for the Chinese Grand Prix today (Apr 14).

MercedesAMG have dominated in China for the past 7 years for the last time a Silver Arrow auto failed to line up on the pole.

Hamilton aborted his final Q3 lap and was there for taking by Red Bull, but Max Verstappen failed to capitalise, falling short in P5 by an agonising 0.012s. In full strength to the fight for pole moved Ferrari, Mercedes, Red bull and Renault. Mercedes staying loyal to the softs with a longer first stint on the agenda for Sunday. "I would say on my side but also us as a team, we've been underperforming", said Hamilton.

"To have that much of a gap is a surprise", said Vettel.

"We got through all the laps that we needed and got some good feedback about the vehicle", said Hamilton after a cold afternoon. No driver has won the opening three rounds and not gone on to take the title.

Haas's Romain Grosjean qualified 10th, just 0.036 seconds behind Sainz.

Kovač to replace Heynckes as Bayern boss next season
Borussia Monchengladbach head coach Dieter Hecking insists his team will not settle for limiting the damage against the champions. The Bundesliga champions are famously unwilling to pay excessive fees for players and they may well have landed another bargain.


Hamilton could at least depend on his car's impressive reliability, collecting points for the 28th race in a row and claiming outright a record he had previously held jointly with Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen.

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner had emphasised to Verstappen that he needed a clean weekend in Shanghai.

"So I knew that I had a little bit more and obviously in the last lap I got it all together and [was] very happy that when I crossed the line I was looking up to see the screen and I saw something green, which is usually good, and a little bit of purple".

"We've shown in the past that we have recovered from hard periods, and I have actually started to appreciate the hard days because they make us progress and understand our vehicle better".

He damaged his vehicle running wide in the early laps in the opening race in Australia and then spun, losing several places and finishing sixth.

Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon are also level, with the Frenchman making up for his Melbourne deficit in the desert by making Q3 for a Force India team who have struggled to meet expectations.

Fernando Alonso beat Stoffel Vandoorne 16-3 in qualifying last season and has made another strong start in 2018.

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