Thursday, 25 April, 2019

Bottas denies Hamilton pole in Shanghai

2019 Chinese GP Thai F1 driver Albon survives spectacular crash | Bangkok Post: news
Cassandra Castillo | 13 April, 2019, 17:40

In a thrilling qualifying session in China, worthy of the 1000th World Championship race, Valtteri Bottas secured his first pole position since Russian Federation 2018, edging his Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton by just 0.023s, with the Ferraris of Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc around three tenths adrift. I think I was a little bit too greedy. "Then a couple of changes with some settings and some changes to the line and managed to bridge the gap, so honestly I am quite proud of the job we have done considering how far I was in some of the sessions". "I was struggling with the vehicle throughout the weekend, even into Q2", he said.

"We made it to the top of the timesheets but it is always very hard to find a good balance through an entire lap on this track", said Bottas.

"I'm so sorry guys, I'm ok, but sorry", a shaken Albon was heard saying over his vehicle radio.

He was later given the all-clear, but missed qualifying because his ruined auto could not be fixed in time. Although the German felt there was more lap time available on his final attempt, he says Ferrari didn't have the pace to beat Mercedes on Saturday.

Ferrari had looked strong and their straightline speed is still highly impressive but Mercedes had a definitive edge through the turns that dominate sector two. "It has been a good start of the year for me personally and for us as a team, I feel confident".

Despite the crash he finished ninth in final practice. Past year a win was within in his grasp only to be denied by a late safety vehicle, a clever Red Bull strategy call and an exemplary drive by Daniel Ricciardo.

More news: Robert Kraft's lawyer calls video in prostitution case "basically pornography" today

Valtteri Bottas narrowly grabbed pole position for the Chinese Grand Prix on Sunday, with Lewis Hamilton beside him in a dominant Mercedes front-row lockout.

Both the 21-year-old Monegasque and Vettel are running a new electronic control package as a precaution against a repeat of Leclerc's engine problem. "We will check it but no big issues". "The vehicle has the pace in it to compete at the front, we just need to find the right set-up".

Lando Norris fell at the second hurdle of qualifying for the first time in his short career.

Nico Hulkenberg was fifth fastest for Renault, ahead of Carlos Sainz in the McLaren.

Team mate Russian Daniil Kvyat rounded out the top 10.

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