Lewis Hamilton secured his third pole position of the season by storming the Shanghai International Circuit in 1:53.860.
On a wet track, Hamilton set the benchmark during the first run in Q3, leaving others to play catch up in their second runs. Under such circumstances, Nico Rosberg came under pressure and ruined both his flying laps with the result that he ended up fourth in the session.
"It was a tough session but I really enjoyed it. The car's feeling great,'' an elated Hamilton said afterwards.
Daniel Ricciardo in the Red Bull was calm and cool as he again beat his four time world champion teammate in qualifying. The Australian lapped his RB10 around the Shanghai circuit in 1:54.455 to secure second position on the grid ahead of Sebastian Vettel who couldn’t improve on his final flying lap.
Fifth place went to Fernando Alonso who ran the sole Ferrari in Q3 after his teammate Kimi Raikkonen was eliminated in Q2.
Williams have been rather average in wet conditions this season but Massa and Bottas made it a thing of the past after successfully making it into Q3 and putting their Martini stripes car in sixth and seventh on the grid.
Both Nico Hulkenberg and Jean Eric Vergne outqualified their teammates in Shanghai, ending up eight and ninth on the grid.
Romain Grosjean also deserves some credit for putting his dismal Lotus E22 into Q3 for the first time this season. But having ruined his first flying lap, he couldn’t go any faster than P10.
Q2 threw multiple shocks with both the McLarens and the Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen failing to make the cut as the conditions worsened at the session, leaving those relying on a quick lap at the end on the backfoot. Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat, Sauber’s Adrian Sutil and Force India’s Sergio Perez joined this trio in the list of drivers who failed to make into the final leg of qualifying.
In Q1, Esteban Gutierrez joined backmarkers Caterham and Marussia as well as Lotus’ Pastor Maldonado who didn’t start qualifying on mechanical qualifying.