F1 2013 Chinese Grand Prix qualifying result: Hamilton claims pole position

PUBLISHED: 08:08 13 April 2013 | UPDATED: 11:01 14 April 2013

Mercedes F1 driver Lewis Hamilton on track ahead of the 2013 Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai [Picture: Mercedes-Benz]

Mercedes F1 driver Lewis Hamilton on track ahead of the 2013 Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai [Picture: Mercedes-Benz]


FORMULA 1 driver Lewis Hamilton will start the 2013 Grand Prix of China from the front row after qualifying on pole position in Shanghai

The 28-year-old Mercedes F1 star from Hertfordshire will line-up in P1 alongside the Lotus of Kimi Raikkonen.

Hamilton slammed in a stunning hot lap of 1m 34.484s to claim his first pole position for Mercedes with ‘Iceman’ Raikkonen 0.277s slower.

Of his maiden pole for the Mercedes outfit, Hamilton said: “Pole position is a great result for us today and to achieve it in my third race for the team is such a good feeling.

“I had to make sure the radio was off after my engineer told me I had pole because I was so excited!

2013 Chinese Grand Prix qualifying result

Provisional grid positions (top 10 only)

1 Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

2 Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus)

3 Fernando Alonso (Ferrari)

4 Nico Rosberg (Mercedes)

5 Felipe Massa (Ferrari)

6 Romain Grosjean (Lotus)

7 Daniel Ricciardo (Toro Rosso)

8 Jenson Button (McLaren)

9 Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull)

10 Nico Hulkenberg (Sauber)

“None of us expected this level of performance at this stage of the season and it’s a real bonus.”

Girlfriend Nicole Scherzinger tweeted: “@LewisHamilton first pole position of the season and w/his new team! Congratulations babe! I’m so proud of you!”

The Ferrari of Fernando Alonso will start the Chinese GP third on the starting grid ahead of Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes.

Felipe Massa was fifth fastest for Ferrari in Shanghai with Romain Grosjean sixth for Lotus. Daniel Ricciardo was seventh in qualifying for Toro Rosso and Jenson Button eighth for McLaren.

Reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel opted for the harder of the two tyre compounds in Q3 and didn’t set a time and will go from ninth on the grid.

With all bar Button ahead of him starting on the softer tyre, Vettel’s race strategy will be a longer first stint on the mediums.

Hertfordshire-born Hamilton recorded a lap of 1m 35.078s to go quickest in Q2 ahead of Fernando Alonso’s Ferrari, with Rosberg fifth on a 1m 35.537s.

Hamilton enjoyed better luck than Mark Webber, who stopped out on track with a “fuel pressure” problem and parked his Red Bull at turn 14.

The Aussie finished Q2 in 14th place and missed the top 10 qualifying shootout having run out of fuel.

As a result, Webber will start at the back of the grid, following an investigation by FIA stewards, although he could decide to make a set-up change and opt to start from the pit lane.

With teams protecting tyres in the opening phase of qualifying, Hamilton also went quickest in Q1 from Silver Arrows teammate Rosberg.

Hamilton went purple in the first two sectors before setting the benchmark with a lap of 1m 35.793s.

After missing vital track time in third practice with a hydraulics problem, Rosberg clocked 1m 35.959s with Massa P3 and Webber fourth, followed by Alonso and Vettel.

The 2013 Chinese Grand Prix starts at 8am BST on Sunday.

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