Friday, 19 April, 2019

Valtteri Bottas grabs pole position at #ChineseGP, Lewis Hamilton second

Remains tight at the top! FP3 Summary and results Thai F1 driver Albon survives spectacular crash | Bangkok Post: news
Cary Erickson | 14 April, 2019, 09:56

The crash came in the final minutes of practice with Valtteri Bottas of Mercedes clocking the fastest time - 1 minute, 32.830 seconds.

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.

"The lap was OK, not completely how I wanted".

It was neck and neck on the second runs, but Bottas managed to improve as Hamilton slipped a little in the final sector of his run and Bottas had his first pole of 2019.

Bottas said: "It has been a good weekend so far". He was given the all-clear soon after but was unable to make qualifying due to the extensive damage to the monocoque of his Honda-powered STR14.

Hamilton, a five-time victor in China, said: "I didn't give up and kept pushing right to the end". "The vehicle has been really good this weekend and Lewis improved a lot".

"To be as close as we are at the end is fantastic".

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Mercedes AMG Petronas team boss Toto Wolff says it's great to see both Silver Arrow cars to start the front row for Formula 1's 1000th Grand Prix in Shanghai, China.

Max Verstappen was seventh for Red Bull, with the team appearing to have lost some speed after a promising showing in Friday's practice sessions.

Ferrari arrived in China as favourites after looking dominant in Bahrain, a race they would have won but for a late engine problem that hit Charles Leclerc's vehicle while leading, and with plenty of straight line speed. "It's annoying because we could have fought for third today".

There's bundles of stuff to get through before we're lights out so I'll curtail this preamble and start sending through plenty of goodies to whet the appetite. "For sure we'll try to get a podium".

Team-mate Gasly was held up behind him and the Haas drivers Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean were also caught out.

Alfa Romeo's Antonio Giovinazzi did not take part in qualifying because of an engine problem and Toro Rosso were not able to fix Alexander Albon's auto in time for qualifying after the Anglo-Thai rookie had a heavy crash at the end of final practice. More angry and disappointed than anything else. "It was a big one and silly one", said Albon.

Albon, who had looked in with a good chance of making the top 10, said: "I am OK". "As a result of the accident, we are changing the PU and sending the one that was in the auto at the time of the crash back to Sakura for a full check".