Valtteri Bottas secures pole for Mercedes at 1,000th GP

Valtteri Bottas secures pole for Mercedes at 1,000th GP

So it's Valtteri Bottas with his first pole position of 2019. Sergio Perez was a further 0.063s off Kvyat in the lead Racing Point vehicle and will start 12th on the grid.

Hamilton - a five-time victor - struggled to get the most out of his auto, but Mercedes will be on the first line of the grid in Shanghai on Sunday.

Sebastian Vettel was second fastest, 0.392 seconds off the pace and ahead of Ferrari team mate Charles Leclerc.

Bottas had looked impressive all weekend and was able to convert the form into two excellent laps when it mattered that could not be matched.

Hamilton was second fastest in the morning but struggled in the afternoon. Yet despite out-driving his teammate and comprehensively beating both Ferraris in China he believed he could still have done better.

"I'm a bit disappointed because we had a good chance to be in Q3 today, and I think the car's been really strong all weekend". "There was always something but that's how it goes, the pace was good, it was enough". I think we had a good session.

"The race is long, we will take it from there into the race tomorrow". Bottas's first lap in Q3 was a mighty effort when Hamilton had pushed him to the limit.

Hamilton was impressed with his team-mate's showing and said: "I didn't give up, I kept pushing him right to the end". Maybe you can, but I don't think it should have happened.

"They are bloody quick in the corners!" the German said when Brundle suggested the Ferrari's straightline speed could help them on Sunday. Vettel and Leclerc ultimately finished three-tenths back but are positive about their potential in race pace. Big congratulations to Valtteri, he's been stellar all weekend.

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"At the moment I feel on top of my game", he said.

"I do not know if others were not told". On our side, I think we were able to improve the auto from where we were yesterday so I'm reasonably happy with that, but not entirely happy.

His Honda-powered team won in China a year ago, when they used Renault engines, with Ricciardo.

Pierre Gasly in the second Red Bull was in sixth.

An all-Renault fourth row is followed by the Haas pair of Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean in ninth and 10th respectively.

McLaren did not enjoy a good session with Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris out in Q2 in 14 and 15.

Lance Stroll starts ahead of them, having exited in Q1 for a seventh-straight qualifying, behind the McLarens, Kimi Raikkonen, Sergio Perez and Daniil Kvyat. Russell was still 0.028s faster than teammate Robert Kubica, who will start 18th despite setting the slowest time.

Antonio Giovinazzi also failed to set a time after suffering a technical problem in his Alfa Romeo.

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