Chinese Grand Prix 2017 Qualifying: Saturday's F1 Results, Times and Final Grid

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistApril 8, 2017

SHANGHAI, CHINA - APRIL 08: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain driving the (44) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes F1 WO8 on track during final practice for the Formula One Grand Prix of China at Shanghai International Circuit on April 8, 2017 in Shanghai, China.  (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Lewis Hamilton will occupy pole position on the grid at the 2017 Formula One Chinese Grand Prix for the sixth time on Sunday after topping qualifying at the Shanghai International Circuit.

He set a time of one minute, 31.678 seconds ahead of Sebastian Vettel, who split Hamilton and Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas by the narrowest of margins.

Vettel's Ferrari counterpart Kimi Raikkonen will start in fourth place, meaning the top of the grid mirrors that of the Australian Grand Prix last time out.

Here are the full results, courtesy of F1's official Twitter feed:

 

Saturday Recap

After Friday's heavily disrupted practice sessions, the teams were able to successfully get out on the track for FP3 on Saturday morning, and it was Ferrari who dominated it ahead of the Mercedes duo:

Car troubles cost Red Bull's Max Verstappen—who topped FP1 on Friday—and Haas' Romain Grosjean in Q3. The former ran into engine difficulties and was way off the pace, while the latter spun at Turn 16 and suffered a puncture.

The pair weren't helped by a late crash into the barriers by Sauber rookie Antonio Giovinazzi, which prevented them from improving on their final times:

The Italian had scraped through to Q2 but was unable to take part, and he's now at risk of missing out on the race entirely.

Meanwhile Stoffel Vandoorne, Jolyon Palmer and Esteban Ocon were the other drivers to be eliminated.

Fernando Alonso was the biggest casualty in Q2 as Raikkonen laid down the gauntlet with a record lap time, per Ferrari:

Hamilton duly rose to the challenge in Q3 with his quickest run of the day to earn Mercedes the top spot on the grid in China for the sixth year running.

The Englishman had pole ahead of Vettel in Melbourne, though, and that wasn't enough to prevent the German from winning.

While Ferrari's wait for their first pole since Singapore in 2015 continues, the warning signs are there for Mercedes—Hamilton and his team will need to be at their best on Sunday to get their first win of the season.