Nico Rosberg took his first pole position of the season in China, where Lewis Hamilton hit unreliability problems and will start from last. The world champion failed to set a time during Q1 as Mercedes battled ERS problems on his hybrid power unit that left him down on power. Hamilton was already set to take a five-place grid penalty for changing his gearbox, but now has a mammoth task on Sunday starting from 22nd. Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo produced a stunning lap to nick second on the grid, ahead of Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen.
Where on earth that came from? I’m quite shocked actually, to qualify on the front row is an incredible performance.
Red Bull boss Christian Horner
Nico Hulkenberg did make it into Q3, but his front left wheel came loose and bounced down the track late in Q2, forcing him to stop the car on track, ruling him out of the top 10 shootout. That incident caused a late red flag in Q2 and with only just over a minute left on the clock meant those in the drop zone were unable to post another time. "Arrgh, arrgh,“ exclaimed a frustrated Fernando Alonso over the radio when told he wouldn’t get one final attempt at a spot in Q3. In an eventful session – in stark contrast to the drab sessions of the first two Grands Prix – Q1 was delayed by over 20 minutes when Pascal Wehrlein hit the wall on the pit straight after losing control of his Manor.
You can overtake here, the tyres won’t last as well. I’ll give it everything I’ve got.