Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain celebrates on the podium after the qualifying session for the Formula One Chinese Grand Prix at the Shanghai International Circuit in Shanghai, east China, April 8, 2017. Lewis Hamilton won the pole position in 1 minute and 31.678 seconds. (Xinhua/Fan Jun)
SHANGHAI, April 8 (Xinhua) - Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton logged a qualifying lap time of 1:31.678 to grab pole position for the Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix here on Saturday.
It's the sixth straight pole position for Hamilton, who after the race said that Ferrari put up a tough fight.
"The Ferrari looked so fast and we knew it was going to be close, and we knew we had to pull out all the stops and I managed to do a very, very perfect lap," Hamilton said.
The qualifying sectors were a consistently tight battle between Mercedes and Ferrari, and saw Sebastian Vettel come in just one-tenth of a second adrift of Hamilton, and one-thousandth of a second adrift Hamilton's Mercedes teammate Valteri Bottas.
Despite being edged by the skin of his teeth by Hamilton, Vettel appeared pleased with his performance in the post-qualifying press conference.
"I was very happy with the lap I had. Last corner I lost a little bit, maybe chickened on to the brakes a bit too soon. But we just had enough margin to make it on to the front row," he said.
In fourth was Vettel's Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen, with a qualifying time of 1:32.140.
A striking scene played out in Q1 when Sauber substitute Antonio Giovinazzi slide into the wall at the final turn at the conclusion of the session. That kept the Italian out of further qualifying action.
Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo clocked a fastest lap of 1:33.033; which was 1.355 off the pace to put him in 5th. Rounding out the last row tomorrow will be Red Bull's Max Verstappen, who clocked a best lap of 1:35.433.