GPI 2017 Chinese Grand Prix - Page 176

QUALIFYING REPORT Eliminated at this stage were Carlos Sainz in the second Toro Rosso in P11, Magnussen, Alonso, Ericsson and the unfortunate Giovinazzi. At the front of the pack the Mercedes drivers and Ricciardo opted to sit out the final run. Ferrari, though, chose to send out its drivers and it was Räikkönen who made the most of the lap. The Finn jumped to the top of the order with a time of 1:32.181, two tenths of a second clear of Vettel who did not improve. Having dominated the opening segments it might have been expected that Ferrari would again lead the way at the start of Q3. It was Hamilton, however, who set the early setting a time of 1:31.90 to head by Vettel by just over a tenths of second, with Bottas third ahead of Raikkonen and Ricciardo. And Hamilton kept the momentum in the final runs. The first across the line he set a benchmark of 1:31.678. Bottas then slotted into P2 with a time of 1:31.865. Raikkonen couldn’t get close to that but Vettel was edging towards the end of what was looking to be a very competitive lap. In the end though he couldn’t match Hamilton and finished 0.186 behind the Briton. He was, however, 1000th of a second quicker than Bottas and so claimed his 72nd career front row start. Ricciardo remained in fifth place ahead of Massa, Hulkenberg, Perez, Kvyat and Stroll.