Lewis Hamilton had no complaints with his one flying lap in Q3 which netted the Brit his first pole position as a Mercedes driver...
Lewis Hamilton had no complaints with his one flying lap in Q3 which netted the Brit his first pole position as a Mercedes driver.
With everyone leaving it late in the final qualifying segment, it was a mad dash at the end with the drivers getting just one opportunity to stamp their authority on qualifying.
And no one did it better than Hamilton.
The 28-year-old posted a 1:34.484 to beat Kimi Raikkonen to the coveted grid slot by 0.277s.
"It's an incredible feeling. So happy to have our first pole for some time. I'm just ecstatic really," Hamilton said. "The lap was great.
"The team has performed well all weekend so far. I hope we can carry it into tomorrow.
"It's really surprising, in P3 the Ferraris were very quick but we had really good pace in Q1 and Q2 but that last lap is really tough to get.
"We left it down to the last three minutes so you've got to get perfect out lap and the perfect lap. I really can't complain about that lap."
But while Hamilton opted to qualify on the soft Pirelli tyres, the quicker of the two options, Sebastian Vettel and Jenson Button decided to with the mediums.
That put the duo out of contension of pole position, however, it means they will start the race on the more durable compound.
Asked about the Pirelli rubber, Hamilton said: "These tyres are very tricky this weekend.
"Making the option tyre last is almost impossible, so it's probably going to be a short stint at the start apart from for this guy [Raikkonen] who seems to be able to look after tyres better than most people.
"But we have good race pace. I expect a tough race but I hope we can maintain position."
Hamilton Takes Pole In Strategic Qualifying
Gallery: Qualifying Day In Shanghai