Chinese Grand Prix
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain (C) waves after taking pole position next to team mate Nico Rosberg (L) of Germany and Ferrari Formula One driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany following the qualifying session of the Chinese Grand Prix at the Shanghai InternationalReuters

After an unexpected defeat in the Malaysian Grand Prix, Mercedes seem to have returned to their dominant ways as Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg finished first and second respectively in qualifying in China.

Hamilton, who clocked a time of 1:35.782 in Q3, just edged his teammate Rosberg (1:35.824) to secure the pole position at the Shanghai International circuit on Saturday.

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, who triumphed in the Malaysian GP, managed to finish third with a time of 1:36.687, followed by Williams duo of Felipe Massa (1:36.954) and Valtteri Bottas (1:37.143).

Vettel's teammate Kimi Raikkonen, who was pretty impressive in the practice sessions, finished in sixth place with a time of 1:37.232.

Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo claimed seveth place with a time of 1:37.939, followed by Lotus' Romain Grosjean (1:38.209) and Sauber duo of Felipe Nasr (1:38.521) and Marcus Ericsson (1:38.941).

Hamilton, who was pleased to secure pole position for a third successive race this season, feels that his team's overall performance so far in China has turned out to be much better than their display in Malaysia.

"I think China's continuing to be generally a good circuit for me, and a very, very positive vibe here. The car's handling fantastically well this weekend, a lot better, in terms of the whole weekend, compared to how it was in Malaysia," the two time champion told F1's official website.

However, he insists that Sunday's race is not going to be easy considering the form of his teammate Rosberg and Vettel.

"Obviously we've got a tough race; Nico's very quick and also the Ferrari's are very good with their long-run pace. It's not over by any means."

Rosberg, on the other hand, expressed his frustration after failing to secure pole by just 0.04 seconds.

"When it's four hundredths, it's nothing, you know. So I was frustrated, I am frustrated, yeah, because it's so close and of course I would have wanted to have pole today," the German told Formula 1's official website.

On being asked whether he will get a chance to go ahead of his teammate on Sunday, Rosberg replied: "There are a few opportunities. There is the start and then there's the strategy and tyre degradation.

"Tyre degradation is going to be a big issue and we are going to take the tyres to the limit, so there are many opportunities."

Meanwhile, Vettel says that he is satisfied with his performance in qualifying, although he admits that he was surprised by Mercedes' pace.

"Well, first of all, happy with today I guess," the former Red Bull driver told Formula 1's official website on Saturday. "Obviously these guys were a bit quicker than we expected, to be honest. But we got everything right and P3 was our maximum today."

However, he insists that the race is going to be very close on Sunday.

"Tomorrow we should be a bit closer, how close we will find out. I'm looking forward to going race and going to race tomorrow."

"It's not very far to Turn 1, so I guess that's fairly straightforward, but it's a long race, tyres are very important here. Obviously we try to do well and get a lot of points."

Last season, Hamilton won the Chinese Grand Prix with a time of 1:36:52.810, followed by Rosberg and former Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso, who finished +18.686s and +25.765s behind the Briton.

Race Start (Sunday): 2pm – 4 pm local time, 11:30 am – 1.30 pm IST, 7am – 9 am BST.

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