Hamilton takes pole hat-trick in China

Sat Apr 11, 2015 7:00am EDT
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By Abhishek Takle

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton stormed to his third successive pole position of the season, and third in a row in China, after edging team mate Nico Rosberg in a front-row lockout for Mercedes on Saturday.

Hamilton, unbeaten in qualifying this year, lapped the 5.451 km Shanghai International Circuit in one minute 35.782 seconds to take his 41st career pole just 0.042 of a second clear of Rosberg.

"Oh, come on guys," exclaimed a frustrated Rosberg when informed over the radio that he had lost out by such a small margin.

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, winner of the previous race in Malaysia, will start third.

Ferrari, who were helped by a bold strategy gamble and searing temperatures at Sepang, continued to lead the chasing pack but were unable to match Mercedes’ formidable one-lap pace in the cooler conditions.

Vettel’s best time was nearly a second off Hamilton’s benchmark.

However, the Ferrari's race pace remained a concern for Mercedes and Hamilton, who was fastest in all three practice sessions.

"I wasn’t very happy with it but great job by the team and all the guys back at the factory," he said of his record fifth pole in China.   Continued...

Mercedes Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain looks at a Ferrari Formula One car after taking pole position following the qualifying session of the Chinese F1 Grand Prix at the Shanghai International Circuit, April 11, 2015. REUTERS/Aly Song