Lewis Hamilton claimed his first pole position as a Mercedes driver in China, beating Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso...
Lewis Hamilton: "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! None of us expected this level of performance at this stage of the season and it's a real bonus. The guys have just been working away, pushing really hard, and I'm so pleased for everyone back at the factories and here at the track that I've been able to deliver my first pole in a Silver Arrow. It would be great to convert the position in the race tomorrow but it's going to be a challenge and we're realistic about how tough the race will be. The soft tyres don't last for very long, and with a couple of quick guys starting on the mediums, it'll be interesting to see how the race plays out. I'm looking forward to it and will give it my all."
Nico Rosberg: "A very good team result today and P4 is a decent grid position for me. I wasn't able to do my qualifying simulation this morning due to the hydraulic problem which was a bit unfortunate. So I needed to catch up through the qualifying sessions and find my way. I took some settings from Lewis for the initial set-up which worked out well. I made a small mistake at the last corner on my lap in Q3 which cost maybe a tenth and a couple of places. But I'm in a good position for the race and we've worked a lot on the race performance this weekend so I hope we can gain some places tomorrow. It's going to be an interesting race with some of the guys starting on the medium tyres so let's see what happens."
Kimi Raikkonen: "This is my best qualifying for the team which is good, but of course you always want to be on pole. It's been quite a tricky weekend so far and we've had a few small issues with setup, but it's always difficult to get things exactly how you want them and the car seems to be working well now. The tyres will of course be the question mark tomorrow; some people are starting on the primes but we chose the strategy we think will work best. Hopefully we can keep managing the degradation well like we have so far this season and have a good race tomorrow."
Romain Grosjean: "Friday was difficult and we missed some time on Saturday morning so it's been a challenging weekend, but I'm finally back in business. We've been chasing some small problems here and there, but the engineers have been working hard and did a fantastic job to get the car to where it is now. My first lap on options in Q1 was actually my first of the weekend with those tyres so we had to guess a little on the set up, but I think we did pretty well. Of course you always want to do better, but overall I'm pleased. The car was much better this afternoon so let's see what we can do in the race."
Fernando Alonso: "To end qualifying with both cars in the top five is a result that fills me with hope for the race. The F138 has been competitive all weekend and that means we have made a step forward, which is down to the work of the team. Some of the updates we had here worked as we had expected, but others need further work. In terms of establishing what will be the best strategy, we will be in for a long night and that will be the case for everyone, given that almost all our main competitors will start on the softs. I'm not concerned about Red Bull's choice and Mercedes usually has a higher degradation than ours. I'm definitely expecting an interesting race in which the biggest threat could come from Raikkonen as the Lotus has shown it manages its tyres well."
Felipe Massa: "It was a good qualifying, with the car working well and being quick. To be honest, after my performance in the second and third free practice sessions, I expected to start in the top three, but it's very likely that our competitors were running with more fuel and it's also true that strategy counts a lot more than one or two places on the grid. Today's qualifying featured different choices: we preferred to use the soft tyre right from the first run in Q1, because it looked complicated getting through to the next part with the medium. That has allowed us to save them for tomorrow in a race that looks like being very closely contested and where as many as three stops might be necessary. Today, our main competitors probably did better than us, but the race is long and anything can happen. Tyre management and tactical choices will definitely be the key factors."
Daniel Ricciardo: "It's nice to be in Q3. It's the first time since Bahrain last year that I've made it to the top ten, so that's nearly a whole year. I am definitely looking forward to having a strong race tomorrow and will give it all I've got to make the most of this seventh place on the grid. I think it will be an exciting race and today, you could see that most of us waited until the last moments in Q3 to go out, with everyone thinking about saving tyres for tomorrow, as the Options were having a hard time on a long run on Friday. This result will boost everyone's spirits, and mine as well and I really can't wait for the lights to go out tomorrow! The guys have been working so hard back at the factory and they've made the car quicker, so well done to everyone."
Jean-Eric Vergne: "That was disappointing, because I've been on the pace since Friday, something didn't feel quite right on the car this afternoon. However, I am sure we can sort things out for tomorrow and when you see where my team-mate qualified then that has to be a positive sign for tomorrow, because the car is clearly working well. There will be plenty of opportunities to do something from here in the race. The tyre situation is quite complicated and we will have to see how to make the most of them, because the right strategy will be the biggest factor tomorrow afternoon. What we can say is that the car has definitely improved compared to the first two races."
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