Formula One: Hamilton romps to pole position in China

"It really pushes you to have to raise the bar every time you head out which I love".

Sebastian Vettel appeared to be favorite for pole in China after topping the morning free practice session but, as in Australia, the German had to settle for second place on the grid.

"I haven't driven the new wet tyre this season, so it's going to be fun experiencing the bigger cars and the wider tyres for the first time tomorrow".

"I don't believe that, it was the ideal lap", said the four-time world champion, who looked unstoppable in Saturday's practice run, continuing in the rich vein that saw him draw first blood in Australia.

"I made a bet with Toto, 10 euros on Vettel because he really looked quick in the vehicle, everything was right", Lauda told TV reporters.

25/03/2017 Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton (C) of Britain reacts after setting pole position in qualifying alongside team mate Valtteri Bottas (L) of Finland and Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel of Germany. There was something misfiring in the engine which meant we were down on power, I tried to do a lap that could at least get me through to Q2 but the issue just wouldn't let me.

"We hope to have a good auto in the wet; downforce plays a huge role in those conditions so we will have to wait and see". And I think Ferrari's race pace is a step up [over their one-lap pace], particularly when it's warm, so it will be interesting to see what the weather brings.

"We're really fighting these guys out there and that's what racing's all about".

"It's a real shame he managed to get between us", Bottas said.

China has underlined the impression created at the Australian Grand Prix that Mercedes and Ferrari are incredibly closely matched at the start of a season where huge regulation change has produced faster and more demanding cars. Knowing that going into Turn 14 always makes you nervous, because you want to gain more time there and not lose any, but I knew I had improved as I came across line and then had to wait to see what everyone had done as they finished their laps...

"The lap started off not quite as well as my previous attempts".

Antonio Giovinazzi mirrored Grosjean's earlier misfortune by spinning at the same corner as the Frenchman, but took it a step further when his out-of-control Sauber slammed into the wall, ending his qualifying early. Esteban Ocon struggled with set up and could not progress past 20th and last.

"When your battle is within a team it is very easy for a team to implode as a constant battle for the whole unit to be working together toward the same goal has a conflict of interests within it", Hamilton told a group of reporters at a round table at the Chinese Grand Prix.

  • Leroy Wright