Chinese Grand Prix: Pole at Bottas, Mercedes first rowApril 14, 2019
Qualification in Shanghai does not matter for the results of the race – on the Chinese track you can overtake, but it is demanding for engine power and downforce. The advantage here is always get the best cars for the last ten years, six times the Grand Prix of China won the holder of the pole.
In the Ferrari had the advantage in speed on the straight, in the Mercedes won in the corners in the training results were dense, both among the leaders and in the middle group of teams. On Friday morning, Sebastian Vettel was in the lead, and in the second and third training sessions, Valtteri Bottas, who arrived in Shanghai as the championship leader.
Debutant Toro Rosso Alexander Elbon crashed the car at the end of the Saturday workout and did not participate in the qualification. The driver did not get injured, but the car was hit so seriously that it had to be assembled on another chassis – the team hopes to do so by Sunday’s race.
The company Pirelli brought to Shanghai an “average” three of the compositions – as Hard, Medium and Soft this time used the compositions C2, C3 and C4.
Due to the cool weather, not everyone was able to bring the tires into operation and squeeze the maximum out of the soft tires. Working with a series of circles to gradually warm up the tires, this time it was difficult – Soft tires quickly wear out, losing efficiency and speed.
In the first session, everyone used Soft. In the first attempt the protocol was headed by Bottas, having passed a lap in 1: 32.658. Due to problems with the power plant, Giovinazzi could not complete the fast lap by returning to the pits.
The drivers Mercedes, Vettel, Verstappen and Hulkenberg chose to save rubber by refusing the second attempt. Many have added, but the result of Bottas remained the best. Stroll, Russell, Kubica, Giovinazzi and Elbon who did not participate in the session dropped out of further struggle.
In the second session, the drivers Mercedes, Ferrari and Verstappen made their first attempt at Medium, the rest went to Soft.
Bottas led the protocol, driving the circle for 1: 31.728. Five riders on the Medium were on the top five lines – and no one on Soft could intervene in their struggle, not even Verstappen’s partner, Pierre Gusley, who drove around on a softer and faster rubber.
In the second attempt, Leclaire and Gusli did not leave, Hamilton again went to Medium, the rest to Soft. Bottas, Vettel and Verstappen slowed down at the end of the circle, to start tomorrow at the Medium. Lewis headed the protocol – 1: 31.637.
Raikkonen complained of an unexpected loss of power, but drove to the boxes. In the finals did not pass: Perez, Raikkonen, Sainz and Norris.
In the final all went to Soft. Haas F1 riders left, but did not complete the circle. In the first attempt, Botas was faster – 1: 31.563, seven thousandths ahead of Hamilton. Vettel, who showed the third time, lost almost half a second.
In the second attempt, Bottas added, and Hamilton lost time on the third sector. In the Ferrari reduced the backlog, but left behind. The drivers of Red Bull Racing and Haas F1 did not have time to start a decisive fast lap, stuck in traffic.
Valtteri Bottas won the qualification in Shanghai, winning the first pole of the season and seventh in his career.
The riders of the five teams will occupy the first five rows of the starting field. The entire first row from Mercedes, the second from Ferrari, the third from Red Bull Racing, the fourth from Renault, the fifth from Haas F1.
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