Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton took his second pole position of the year in today’s qualifying for the Chinese Grand Prix at Shanghai. Hamilton set a time of 1m 31.678s, beating Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari by 0.186s. Hamilton’s teammate Valtteri Bottas set a time just 0.001s adrift of the Ferrari, securing third place.
The second Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen will line up behind Bottas in fourth along with Daniel Ricciardo’s Red Bull in fifth. Felipe Massa (Williams), Nico Hulkenburg (Renault), Sergio Perez (Force India), Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso), and Lance Stroll (Williams) complete the top ten for Sunday’s race in Shanghai.
The close qualifying session among the front running teams bodes well for the race on Sunday after years of Mercedes dominating the entire field. After the Australian Grand Prix in March, Ferrari leads the Championship, the first time a team other than Mercedes has done so since the hybrid era was introduced in 2014. The major regulation changes introduced for this season were aimed at ending the dominance of one team and for now, the changes have delivered.