Hamilton edges out Rosberg for pole in China

© XPB 

Lewis Hamilton took pole position for the Chinese Grand Prix as he just held on to beat team-mate Nico Rosberg.

After an impressive 1:35.782 on his first flying lap, Hamilton failed to improve on his final run in Q3, leaving the door open for Rosberg. However, despite setting the fastest final sector, Rosberg missed out by just 0.042s as Hamilton made it a hat-trick of pole positions this season.

Sebastian Vettel is again well placed to challenge Mercedes in the race after qualifying third, albeit 0.9s slower than Hamilton over a single lap. Ferrari's race pace is much closer to the two Mercedes, but Kimi Raikkonen's scruffy Q3 effort leaves him behind the Williams pair of Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas.

Daniel Ricciardo will start seventh for Red Bull ahead of Romain Grosjean's Lotus and the two Saubers of Felipe Nasr and Marcus Ericsson.

The second part of qualifying was a tight affair with Pastor Maldonado being pipped by Ericsson for the final spot in Q3 by just 0.007s. Behind Maldonado, Daniil Kvyat failed to join his team-mate in the top ten as he finished 0.082s adrift of Ericsson.

One saving grace for Kvyat was he at least managed to beat the two Toro Rosso drivers, while Sergio Perez was the other driver to drop out in Q2 as he failed to even match his time from the opening part of the session.

Q1 was a disappointing one for McLaren as both drivers failed to make it through for the third race in a row. Having shown good pace on Friday the team was targeting a spot in Q2 but Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso both missed out by 0.2s.

Nico Hulkenberg finished 16th ahead of the two McLarens, with all three cars covered by just 0.064s. It was an impressive qualifying performance from Alonso when his absence from FP3 on Saturday morning is taken in to account.

The two Manor cars also dropped out in the first part of qualifying but were comfortably inside 107%. Will Stevens beat Roberto Merhi by 0.8s - with Merhi revealing on Friday he is 15kg heavier than his team-mate - but the Spaniard was 1.5s inside the cut-off time.

Click here for Friday's gallery from the Chinese Grand Prix 

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Pos Pilote Equipe Q1 Q2 Q3
01 L. Hamilton Mercedes 1:38.285 1:36.423 1:35.782
02 N. Rosberg Mercedes 1:38.496 1:36.747 1:35.824
03 S. Vettel Ferrari 1:37.502 1:36.957 1:36.687
04 F. Massa Williams 1:38.433 1:37.357 1:36.954
05 V. Bottas Williams 1:38.014 1:37.763 1:37.143
06 K. Raikkonen Ferrari 1:37.790 1:37.109 1:37.232
07 D. Ricciardo Red Bull 1:38.534 1:37.939 1:37.540
08 R. Grosjean Lotus 1:38.209 1:38.063 1:37.905
09 F. Nasr Sauber 1:38.521 1:38.017 1:38.067
10 M. Ericsson Sauber 1:38.941 1:38.127 1:38.158
11 P. Maldonado Lotus 1:38.563 1:38.134
12 D. Kvyat Red Bull 1:39.051 1:38.209
13 M. Verstappen Toro Rosso 1:38.387 1:38.393
14 C. Sainz Toro Rosso 1:38.622 1:38.538
15 S. Perez Force India 1:38.903 1:39.290
16 N. Hulkenberg Force India 1:39.216
17 J. Button McLaren 1:39.276
18 F. Alonso McLaren 1:39.280
19 W. Stevens Manor 1:42.091
20 R. Merhi Manor 1:42.842