The teams finally got to use Pirelli’s slick tyres today, with Lewis Hamilton claiming pole on P Zero Red supersoft: topping qualifying after Michael Schumacher’s all-time lap record from 2004 was already beaten in Q2.
Sebastian Vettel qualified second, with both Ferrari drivers the only people to use just the soft tyre to get through Q1. With no significant running yesterday, the teams headed into qualifying with little data and not much rubber on track, leading to a high degree of track evolution. Qualifying got underway with track temperatures of 32 degrees centigrade but rain is expected tomorrow.
Tyre Sets available for the 2017 Chinese Grand Prix
MARIO ISOLA – HEAD OF CAR RACING
“This morning’s FP3 session was particularly important with many teams splitting their strategies to capitalise on data collection. They still headed into qualifying with limited information, but maximised all the possibilities of the 2017 tyres: pole position was a record-breaking lap, more than 3.7 seconds faster than last year. If it stays dry, a one-stop strategy seems optimal, starting on the SS and then doing a longer stint on soft.”