There may not have been a lot of track action at the Shanghai International Circuit on Friday, but Saturday sure made up for it with another fierce battle for pole position between Mercedes and Ferrari.
By the time the chequered flag fell, the very close battle favoured Hamilton with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel finding himself in second place thanks to a lap of 1’31”864, which is 186 thousandths off the pole time set by Hamilton.
"Tomorrow is another day” said Seb over the radio, sending thanks to all the team at the end of his qualifying lap which yielded Position 2 on the grid. “It was a bit closer than in Australia, so a good session overall with lots of chances for tomorrow. We’ll see what the race can bring, with the different conditions and everything."
"Of course I would have liked to be even closer, knowing that the Mercedes would be very strong in Q3, as they proved to be. We had some luck with Valtteri, because when you’re a thousand of a second apart, it could be one way or the other.”
“I was happy with my lap, even if I braked a bit too early for the last corner, hit the kerb hard and had to wait for the car to settle. That’s where I lost a bit of time, but not all the gap to Lewis."
"There wasn’t much more I could have gained. So this result on a totally different track, with conditions significantly cooler than Melbourne, is definitely good news. The confidence is there, I trust what the car is telling me and she seems to respond to what I tell her. It’s a good match but we need to improve further