Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Shanghai International Circuit, 2017

2017 Chinese Grand Prix grid

2017 Chinese Grand Prix

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Row 11. Lewis Hamilton 1’31.678
Mercedes
2. Sebastian Vettel 1’31.864
Ferrari
Row 23. Valtteri Bottas 1’31.865
Mercedes
4. Kimi Raikkonen 1’32.140
Ferrari
Row 35. Daniel Ricciardo 1’33.033
Red Bull
6. Felipe Massa 1’33.507
Williams
Row 47. Nico Hulkenberg 1’33.580
Renault
8. Sergio Perez 1’33.706
Force India
Row 59. Daniil Kvyat 1’33.719
Toro Rosso
10. Lance Stroll 1’34.220
Williams
Row 611. Carlos Sainz Jnr 1’34.150
Toro Rosso
12. Kevin Magnussen 1’34.164
Haas
Row 713. Fernando Alonso 1’34.372
McLaren
14. Marcus Ericsson 1’35.046
Sauber
Row 815. Stoffel Vandoorne 1’35.023
McLaren
16. Max Verstappen 1’35.433
Red Bull
Row 917. Esteban Ocon 1’35.496
Force India
18. Antonio Giovinazzi* No time
Sauber
Row 1019. Romain Grosjean** 1’35.223
Haas
20. Jolyon Palmer** 1’35.279
Renault

*Five-place grid penalty for gearbox change

**Five-place grid penalty for failing to slow sufficiently for double waved yellow flags

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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104 comments on “2017 Chinese Grand Prix grid”

  1. Hamilton fan or not, that was a belter of a pole lap!

    Superb!

    1. Agreed…. That was something else!

    2. Yep, was a hell of a lap. Would like to see the onboard. I thought he had about a tenth more than his first lap, the wobble at the end of sector 2, then he goes and improves by .224 tenths

    3. Hamilton was even slower than Bottas in Q3, that was hardly a good qualifying lap, I would say it was Hamilton’s poorest qualifying lap in last 5 races.

  2. 0.001 between Vettel and Bottas.
    Game on for the rest of the season!

    1. Would love to see a side by side of those two laps.

      1. @david-a So you can see precisely where that 1/1000th was? ;)

        1. Toto said that the team told to him that was about 5,6 cm.

      2. I calculated the difference between the two cars was one would be just under 6 cm behind the other as they crossed the finish line.

    2. Well, Hamilton beating Bottas by over .2 is telling. Hamilton got that extra special bit over him, as does VET over RAI.

      That’s why you pay them the big bucks. Actually it’s same with ALO vs. VDN and a real big shame ALO can’t be in this front battle… :(

      1. Agree. Hamilton really showed why he’s the top dog in formula 1 right now. His lap was flawless even though there was a decent amount of pressure from Vettel.

        Bottas… is as expected… a consistent and good number 2 driver. Luckily for him, Ferrari has their own consistent and decent #2 driver, or else he wouldn’t really be getting podiums right now.

        Alonso put in another stellar qualifying performance and really showed why is a driver that belongs to be fighting at the front of the grid instead of struggling in a GP2 car.

        1. @todfod
          I’ve watched Fernando’s lap with DeLarosa commenting and he looked very comfortable , he looked like he was driving one of his old Renaults, a clean lap with no mistakes with that GP2 car.
          I just hope he doesn’t give up till he got a competitive drive. Things can change for great champions, Federer and Rossi can be inspiring here…

  3. nelson piquet
    8th April 2017, 9:05

    bottas really underwhelming

    1. you seem surprised

      1. Bottas is still the fastest Fin (even relative to their team-mates) :p
        @todfod

        1. @f1-liners

          Agree. I don’t even want to get started with Kimi.

          I wouldn’t blame Ferrari if they start throwing all their weight behind Seb as early as Barcelona. Kimi deserves the treatment if a rear gunner and nothing better if he continues to drive like this.

    2. You gotta be kidding. Bottas performance is amazing. I’m no fan of his, but the guy arrived to the team the other day and is performing consistently against Hamilton no less. While Hamilton, Alonso and Vettel are doing great, so far this season Bottas is impressing me more than anyone else.

    3. Obviously your disappointed, you wanted and expected him to have the better of Lewis. :)

      1. Not at all. I expected him to be between half a second and a full second behind Lewis, at least for the first ten races or so. Regarding my personal preference, I root for Kimi, but among the guys with chances to get the WDC my sympathy goes to Lewis.

        1. I fail to see how you responded to me when my comment was aimed @nelsonpiquet. Unless of course, its one in the same person using different aliases?

          1. Next time try using the @ symbol. Very helpful ;)

          2. No need for @ symbol as my reply is under Mr Piquet’s comment and not yours so I still fail to see how you thought I was replying to you. Look at N’s response to your comment, look at mine. Quite different. But anyway its clearly a misunderstanding so no worries.

          3. Yeah I also think VB is doing great as the newbie on the team. Not just new to the team but new to being in a race-win capable car. Perhaps the car is that good, well we know it is, but I sure expected VB to need more time, and of course he probably still does.

  4. So far I really like what I see, tough I would have loved Keith’s suggestion of a Finnish frontrow

    1. I’d love to see that, but I’m not holding my breath. I wonder when was the last time that we saw two “number 2” drivers in the front row.

      1. Austria 2014 ;)

        1. In Austria 2014 both Williams were in the front row. You cannot have two “number 2” drivers in the same team! XDDD

  5. Well, that’s definitely an interesting session. Couple of things.
    – Cars seem a handful. Good.
    – Sauber not the slowest per se. Which I thought they would be.
    – Kvyat > Sainz
    – Hamilton overdriving the car shows that unlike previous seasons he’s not convinced his car is the fastest.
    – Rain tomorrow please? Anything can happen then. If not, will be very interesting to see what Verstappen, Grosjean and Ocon can do. Overtake?
    – Hulkenburg. Cor.
    – Fight at the front is wonderful. Mercedes faster over one lap, Ferrari in race pace. Vettel v Hamilton for the title.

    1. Who’s Cor?

      1. NiCor “Le Mans Winner 2015” “See ya later” Hulkenberg

    2. Couple of questions: Who’s slower than Sauber? What do you mean “Hamilton overdriving”?

      If it doesn’t rain, it’s going to be interesting to see what Verstappen can do, but if it rains… I expect a real show from the kid!

      1. Dunno who is necessarily slower than Sauber but that’s Q2 twice now and not just because of circumstances. They’re competitive at least.

        Hamilton drove a great pole lap but his previous lap he was pushing too hard, which I consider overdriving.

        1. Not sure if achieving Q2 (by crashing in this case) qualifies them as being ‘competitive’.
          @hahostolze
          The (quickest) Sauber was still beaten by all other constructors by at least 0.7sec.

          1. Yeah, that’s what I mean. The only caveat is that the McLaren that beat Ericsson was driven by Alonso. It’s quite possible that those 7 tenths (and more) come from the difference in skill between Alonso and Ericsson. If that’s the case, Sauber would be quicker than Mc (as Alonso claims). Apart from that all the other cars are clearly quicker than the Sauber.

      2. If we do get the forecast rain, I wouldn’t be in the least surprised
        to see Max Verstappen on the podium. It’s going to be a rivetting
        race ! Bring it on !

        1. I really dislike rain races. Here’s hoping it’s dry.

  6. Hamilton hit them for 6. This guy has blistering pace. Top man, top job.

    Just take Hamilton out of the picture. The question is- is Merc really faster than Ferrari given Bottas is mixing it with Vettel?

    Does Ferrari have better race pace? Certainly they did in Melbourne. Without a Merc front row lockout Merc can’t control the pace at the front and use the second car to stall Vettel.

    Its beginning to look like the dog fight the media have hyped us all about.

    1. I’d say that given how close Bottas and Vettel are, and knowing that Vettel is a better driver than Bottas, the Mercedes is faster, at least on qualifying pace. I think the Ferrari just about pips it in terms of race pace, though we won’t be able to properly tell if the latter is true or not til Bahrain if it is raining tomorrow.

      1. How do you *know* Vettel is quicker than Bottas? Have they ever shared the same equipment?

        1. He said “better” not “quicker” driver.

          But if Vettel has been consistently quicker than Bottas in a slower car over a single lap for the 2nd time in a row (and won the 1st GP of the season), it’s fairly obvious he could / would beat Bottas in equal machinery.

          1. To be fair I have seen no conclusive evidence that Ferrari has a slower car than Merc this year

          2. “over a single lap”.

          3. Yes over a single lap

          4. My point still stands

          5. Fine how does he *know* Vettel is the better driver? How do you know? I am sure many people thought Vettel was *better* than Ricciardo, but from the only evidence we have, ie 2014- Vettel clearly wasn’t better. Just because Vettel has 4 championships vs 0 to Bottas doesn’t mean if they were given the same equipment Vettel would steam role Valterri. The opposite could easily happen. I’d respect it if you and him said *in my opinion*, as opposed to presenting it as a statement of fact.

          6. PS I am not convinced Ferrari is the slower car in qualy. From Aussie they are definitely not the slower car in the race. You could argue they have the fastest car outright and not the fastest drivers in Vettel and Kimi. Vettel admitted he chickened out on the breaks today so I don’t think pole position was beyond reach for the red cars.

          7. @Blazz

            “but from the only evidence we have”… Vettel is a 4x WDC and statistically, one of the best drivers in the history of the sport.

            And Bottas ?! Well, he never won an F1 race (let alone a WDC).

          8. @elio– and Vettel has had a championship winning car (constructors) for 4 seasons and Bottas has had none. Vettel had all those accolades and Ricciardo came in as the new boy and showed Sebastian a clean pair of heels in 2014. Vettel isn’t better than Ricciardo from the evidence available. No use comparing apples and oranges, cherrypicking stats that suit your argument but are not representative of each driver’s circumstances. So my point is *in your opinion Vettel is better than Bottas*. But until they are in the same machinery with the same opportunities there’s no point throwing those points around as *fact* because they aren’t. Its just your subjective point of view. That is all :)

          9. @Blazz

            You’re wrong, buddy…

            “Facts” are: Vettel has 4 WDC titles, is one of the best F1 drivers ever and even won the Italian GP @ Monza driving a Toro Rosso in 2008. And Bottas so far, won: Zilch, zero, nada!

            Vettel was beaten in 2014 by DR ?! So what ?! Hamilton -who is regarded by many people as the best F1 driver of this generation- was beaten by Jenson Button in 2011 (and last season by Rosberg) in the same team / machinery.

            …It happens sometimes! =)

          10. I understand it happens sometimes. But with Button- Hamilton did defeat him in the other 2 seasons, with Rosberg, Hamilton did defeat him in the other 3 [and well, since karting, GP2 etc]. Whereas with Vettel and RIC we only have evidence of one season- and from that season Ricciardo was definitely better than Vettel. So yes of course, in sport, even the greats suffer defeats.

            I for one am a Lewis fan but I didn’t/won’t write off Bottas just yet just because “he has won zilch”. Same went for Rosberg and eventually all the ducks lined up for him and was able to defeat his more illustrious team mate.

            But I think your not understanding my point. I am not questioning Vettel’s abilities. I am just saying there is nothing to base *your opinion* that Vettel is better than Bottas, bar conjecture. Its your opinion and its not a fact that Vettel is better. For all you know, you could stick Bottas in the Ferrari and he could do a Ricciardo to Vettel again- despite Vettel being a 4 time champ etc.

            I don’t see how you are struggling with the concept that your opinion isn’t fact and that just because a driver hasn’t had the equipment to win races and championships it automatically means they are inferior. Frankly I find that bewildering.

    2. MG421982 (@)
      8th April 2017, 10:49

      Over 1 lap I think it’s quite obvious, so far, that Mercedes is the faster car! Just take out of the picture MSchumacher from the 2000-2004 period… and suddenly half of the Ferrari WDC’s will go to some other team… because RBarrichello did not finish 2nd in the WDC in all those years. 0.2seconds difference between HAM and VET is not much, but not something neglectable for sure. Even if VET had perfect laps in Q3 from AUS and CHI, I hardly believe he would have been on pole. Good thing is that he got even closer this time (although it could be that the lack of practice helped Ferrari… who knows for sure?!) and that Ferrari seems to at least match Mercedes in race pace.

      1. Exactly my thoughts.

      2. I strongly disagree. From Practice 3 and even the first parts of qualy Ferrari really seemed to have the edge. I don’t think pole position was impossible for Ferrari today. Sometimes in F1- drivers do make the difference. Like in the wet. Or in certain circumstances like today. Hamilton’s lap didn’t look too good from S1 but somehow pulled out a mega middle and final sector. So in my opinion today Ferrari was the quicker car especially with Vettel edging out Bottas. Vettel said he chickened out on the brakes so there may have been time dropped as well.

        1. Also Lauda said he was convinced that Ferrari would be on pole position today and bet €10 with Wolff on it

        2. Quali mode on Merc engines makes the difference in q3. In places like Monaco its effect is not so strong but most tracks it will be. Since 2014 Merc were faster anyway and this mode just made the gap to the rest even larger now they are slower and need this mode for a great driver like Hamilton to beat Ferrari by under 2 tenths with a really good lap. I made all that up but seems logical to me.

  7. :D As admirer of fast driving, that was exceptional. Well deserved pole.

    Looks good for this season, Hamilton is in spectacular quali form, Mercedes is slightly faster in quali modes…. Yet Ferrari we can expect to be a slightly faster racing car. So whatever will happen, it will probably be earned on the track.

    Last year Hamilton was far from 100% of his best, he deservedly lost the championship. This year however we have two greatest drivers of their generation at their roughly 100% form going out for victories at reasonably same speed machinery. Mouth watering.

    1. he deservedly lost the championship

      That’s a hell of a stretch. In races without mechanical issues Hamilton convincingly beat Rosberg in every way you care to count. But yeah he deservedly lost the championship lmao.

      1. Hamilton was better than Rosberg… I don’t see how he deserved to lose then. He could have done more, but even without the extra effort he deserved the WDC more than Nico.

      2. nelson piquet
        8th April 2017, 9:35

        you obviously haven’t watched all races

    2. Hmm there is a little thing called “mechanical problems” hampering a driver scoring points in a “mechanical sport”. Rosberg finished every race bar Spain- and *ONLY* won the championship by 5 points. Rosberg was outqualified and beaten in majority of races despite Hamilton also having to start from behind like in Belgium and Russia. The rules are the rules but I think to say he “deserved to lose the title” is very biased.

      Mind you, Rosberg made mistakes at the starts as well- Hungary and Germany to name a few. He was average in the wet in Monaco, GB and Brazil. He spun in Canada while trying to overtake Max and lost a podium in Austria by overly defending against a quicker Hamilton. Rosberg was also the most penalised driver.

      Don’t get me wrong I am not taking anything away from Nico- he won given the hand he was dealt. Unless he was the one fiddling with Hamilton’s car you can’t blame Rosberg for Ham’s misfortunes.

      So, if you expect Hamilton to be perfect to win the championship Rosberg should be judged by the same yardstic and he most certainly does not clear it.

      1. Very well said. The suspension of of logic when people talk about the Hamilton vs Rosberg battle last season always amazes me.

        1. I see there is no mention of LH’s blown starts that could have made up the 5 point difference to NR in the end. Convenient to isolate just reliability and ignore the rest of the season’s realities, when it comes to ‘suspension of logic.’

  8. AGAIN KIMI.. No where near to the front guys..Come on Kimi this year you have no excuses..Ferrari brought a better car and you are not driving it..Kimi will.be out of Ferrari next year no doubt in that..Enjoy your 2nd driver status

    1. As much as I hate to admit it, you’re totally right. In theory this is the first time since 08 he’s had a chance to be WDC. In practice… Oh, well.

    2. I would have to agree. He’s really underwhelmed me after having the better of Seb in the second half of last season. If Ferrari made a WDC worthy car, I expected Kimi to come back as motivated to win it again. Instead, he grumbles on the radio and gets outclassed by his teammate.

      What a let down. He should be replaced by someone who is hungry to win. I’d rather see Grosjean or Hulkenberg in that seat instead of Kimi.

      1. This is same as 2014. Last season Kimi had an edge on Veytel in the 2nd half but the title was impossible. Same happened to Vettel in 2014 when he lost to a lesser driver due to not having a title to go for. Kimi has not taken a step back Vettel has upped his game. In 2015 he seemed down post US once title was not possible even though he only had an outside chance.

    3. MG421982 (@)
      8th April 2017, 10:56

      Told you! He doesn’t even seem to be hot on BOT’s tail. There’s no way Ferrari can have a shot at the WCC with him on-board… even if VET pulls it somehow (something a la ALO in 2012) and gets the WDC. VET winning the WDC while RAI in 4th position will mean just 1 thing: Ferrari must show him the door.

    4. Yeah, such a shame. Ferrari could keep him if he agreed to be a number 2 driver, but I don’t see Kimi agreeng to that. And I wouldn’t like it either. I’d rather see Kimi fighting for points in, say, a Renault, than being a number 2 at Ferrari.

  9. Damn! My pole prediction was 0.006 off

    1. Damn man that’s painful >_<

    2. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      8th April 2017, 9:32

      Maybe not as painful as being 0.001 off a front row start!

  10. Wow, I’m so looking forward to a great wet race, so excited already

    1. With rain this is going to be epic!

      Also interesting to see what Verstappen (and Ocon) can do in the rain from 21st !

    2. @rike
      I don’t think so. I’m pretty confident that the Pirelli’s wet tyres are going to be crap as usual. I still cannot believe it, it’s their 7th season in the sport and they still cannot produce decent tyres. I hope that this tyre nonsense will end by 2019 when their contract with the FIA as a sole supplier will end.
      Besides, the race direction has shown in the last years its inability to cope properly with wet races, sometimes they were extra cautious with the extended safety car periods, delayed starts…., sometimes not (Suzuka 2014)…

      1. Well, if you think about Brazil 2016, for instance, they aren’t doing that bad.

      2. How can they have great wet tyres when knowone will test them. Are they supposed to stick their fingers in the air and guess. There was a wet test pre season but most sat in their garages waiting for the track to dry. If they organised a full wet test the nothing teams at the back will complain but they are also 1st to complain when one of their pay drivers crashes in the wet To settle this just let Ferrari run a wet test at Fiorano for a few weeks to develop the tyres, invite everyone and if they don’t turn up tough luck on them.

  11. What a session. Nice to have proper inter-team competition. Looks like it would be a dreadful season if either Ferrari or Merc were a clear step ahead of the other. We’re lucky both teams have come out blocks so close to each other

  12. Great qualy, I think the Merc is better over one lap while the Ferrari is slightly better over a race distance because of the new tyres. One thing I forgot to mention after the race in Melbourne, was that the cars look great to watch on TV even if the race action in terms of overtaking might be bare.

    If the rain does come tomorrow, we could be in for an interesting race…

    1. @arobbo

      I think the Merc is better over one lap

      Correction: Hamilton in a Merc is better over one lap, not Bottas.

      1. True, but at the same time, Bottas was ahead of Kimi with a similar gap. Hamilton and Vettel were always qualy specialists.

        1. @arobbo
          I dont think Vettels laps in Australia and China has been as top notch as Hamiltons. Theres more to be had over one lap in the Ferrari.

  13. Best time outside the top three teams (Massa) is 2 solid seconds off the pace. So much for performance convergence…

    1. Why did you think there would be convergence? :/

      1. Never said I thought it XDDD
        I just heard that some powerful chaps were trying to achieve it. Not that I trust much of what I hear, though.

        1. I can’t remember anyone in charge saying the rule changes were for convergence. That would be about as sensible as saying the rule changes were to cure diabetes.

          1. I agree with you about how sensible it is. Still, that’s what they said a year ago in their official website, no less: “The new agreement includes a package of measures aimed at achieving performance convergence”.

            https://www.formula1.com/en/latest/headlines/2016/4/fia-confirms-revised-engine-regulations-for-2017.html

          2. @alonshow : That was the performance convergence of the engines, not the teams, and we wont see the benefit of that straight away, though you’d have to figure Ferrari’s resurgence is in at least part due to that.

  14. I don’t think Vettel was too worried about getting the pole position because he knows the Merc engine / car combo is still the fastest one out there in a single lap, so he puts all his focus on car setup for race day.

    Ain’t no points for pole positions and there’s a WDC to win.

    1. race setup applies to all,considering it may be wet tomorrow,so they would have all taken that into consideration.
      and merc being the fastest??well maybe if bottas had of got 2nd,,,,,,,,,,,so it looks pretty even to me.
      kimi usually always underperforms in quali,,,so who knows what car is really the quickest.

    2. So you think Vettel was driving for second place today then?

  15. it was so so close,,,,kimi seems like the weak link at the moment.
    so we dont really know if he is underperforming,or if vettel is overperforming?
    should be a good battle tomorrow,wet or dry.

    1. +1. IMO the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

    2. He’s underperforming. He couldn’t even match his Q2 lap in Q3. Ferrari has the pace , but Kimi just can’t get his act together.

  16. No one should really be surprised how inadequate Kimi once again is. He’s nearing 40, and ever since his title he’s been beaten by Massa, destroyed by Alonso and now beaten by Vettel. I love the guy but I’d love someone else in the seat.

    1. Quite. Towards the latter part of his Lotus days even Grosjaen was getting the better of him before his back surgery.

    2. MG421982 (@)
      8th April 2017, 13:47

      Exactly! If he didn’t manage to surprise us with a great comeback in 2014-2015, aged 35… how it’s gonna happen in 2017-2018, aged 38?!

      1. @corado-dub to be fair RAI did manage to briefly lead the drivers’ championship in 2013 – not my idea of not managing to surprise.

  17. Sviatoslav (@)
    8th April 2017, 15:51

    Three drivers impressed me today: Hulk, Alonso and Hamilton.
    Great efforts from each of them.

    1. Personally I’d add Bottas and Stroll to the list.

  18. Ferrari, Seb fan
    8th April 2017, 18:48

    Mercedes have quali advantage (for now). Ferrari have race advantage (for now)
    With rain possible for tomorrow, I hope it’s a exciting race

Comments are closed.