SHANGHAI — Lewis Hamilton earned his first pole with the Mercedes Formula One team, taking the top spot for Sunday’s Chinese Grand Prix during qualifying Saturday at Shanghai Int’l Circuit.
Hamilton turned a best lap of 1:34.484 during a session in which teams concentrated on conserving tires.
“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,” said Hamilton. “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 tires 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.”
Kimi Raikkonen qualified second for Lotus, but may be investigated after Adrian Sutil claimed that he impeded him during his final run in Q1.
Fernando Alonso finished third for Ferrari ahead of Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg and the other Ferrari of Felipe Massa.