|Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton flashes the victory sign as teammate Nico Rosberg (left) and Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel shake hands after qualifying in the Chinese Grand Prix yesterday.|
World champion Lewis Hamilton roared to pole position in Saturday’s qualifying for the Chinese Grand Prix, just pipping Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg.
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, who stunned the Silver Arrows to win in Malaysia two weeks ago, will start from third on the grid for Sunday’s race alongside the Williams of Felipe Massa.
Hamilton, who won in Shanghai for the third time last year, clocked the quickest time of one minute, 35.782 seconds to maintain his perfect qualifying record at the season’s first three races.
“We have a tough race ahead of us,” Hamilton told reporters. “The Ferraris are strong on long-run pace so it’s not over by any means.”
Rosberg lapped just four hundredths slower than the Briton, and when informed he had just missed out on pole, he yelled over the radio: “Oh come on, guys!”
Clearly irritated, the German shook hands with countryman Vettel but blanked Hamilton as the top three posed for photographs in the pit lane.
“The lap is never 100 per cent perfect, but four hundredths is the blink of an eye so that’s even more annoying,” fumed Rosberg. “It was very, very close but I think I’ve still got a decent chance tomorrow.”