Valtteri Bottas of Mercedes has pole position for the 2019 Formula One Chinese Grand Prix. It’s set to be the 1,000th championship race ever contested in the sport, and Bottas will have teammate Lewis Hamilton next to him on the front row.
Bottas has out-qualified Hamilton multiple times this season and currently holds the lead in the Drivers’ Championship standings, with 44 points. That’s one point up on Hamilton, with 43 points. Max Verstappen of Red Bull is next, then the two Ferrari cars of Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel.
“I was just struggling with the car throughout the weekend, all day yesterday, today even into Q2,” Hamilton said after finishing behind his teammate. “I made a couple of changes with some settings on the wheel and some changes to the line and managed to bridge the gap.
“Honestly I’m quite proud of the job I have done considering how far I was early in the session. Valtteri’s been quick all weekend, he deserved the pole.”
Despite Ferrari’s advantage in straight-line speed, they couldn’t get pole or split the Mercedes, which is always their minimum goal at the very least. Vettel will start third, next to Leclerc in fourth. The Red Bulls are behind them, with Verstappen and Pierre Gasly locking out the third row. Then it’s the two Renaults of Daniel Ricciardo an Nico Hulkenberg.
Finally, the American-owned Haas team managed to put both cars into the third qualifying session, with Kevin Magnussen holding ninth and Romain Grosjean rounding out the top 10 of the grid.
Leclerc is still possibly the most intriguing driver on the grid. He’s young and hungry, and joined a Ferrari team with a multiple-times world champion as the lead driver in Vettel. But Leclerc has outpaced him at times.
“Overall I’m happy on my side because after I was quite lost with set-up and my driving and everything and I managed to get back where I wanted in qualifying,” Leclerc said after a rough weekend. “It has been a messy weekend for me on the driving side so I’m pretty happy to be here. Also I’m pretty disappointed because I did a mistake in my fast lap so there was potential in there. But overall I think I should be satisfied because it could have been a lot worse after.”
Below is all you need to watch the action on Sunday, including the full starting grid.
How to watch the 2019 Chinese Grand Prix
Date: Sunday, April 14
Location: Shanghai International Circuit, Shanghai
Time: 2 a.m. ET
Chinese Grand Prix Starting Grid
|Max Verstappen||Red Bull||1:32.089|
|Pierre Gasly||Red Bull||1:32.930|
|Kevin Magnussen||Haas||No time|
|Romain Grosjean||Haas||No time|
|Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso||1:32.236|
|Sergio Pérez||Racing Point||1:33.299|
|Kimi Räikkönen||Alfa Romeo||1:33.419|
|Carlos Sainz Jr.||McLaren||1:33.523|
|Lance Stroll||Racing Point||1:34.292|
|Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo||No time|
|Alexander Albon||Toro Rosso||No time|