When will the Red Bulls pit? That’s the big question. Verstappen and Ricciardo aren’t gaining on Bottas or Hamilton despite the ultrasoft tires. Grosjean and Magnussen swap places after the latter complains about the former. Magnussen has the softs, while Grosjean is on used ultrasofts. Grosjean came over the team radio and was very unhappy about the switch.
Down the long straight, Hamilton makes up nearly half a second on Raikkonen on Lap 11. He’ll want to get back into DRS range, though not much is going to change until the Red Bulls come in.
The Toro Rosso of Hartley is the first in the pits, swapping out his ultrasoft tires and rejoining the race on the mediums in 20th position. Grosjean tells his team that he wants off the ultrasofts as soon as possible. Ocon tries the undercut, going in for the pit on Lap 12.
Stroll for Williams made it up to 12th from his starting spot of 18th — he benefited greatly from some scrapping among those ahead of him. Bottas is 2.5 seconds back of Vettel as of Lap 5. Hamilton is still behind Raikkonen. Both of them took it a bit safe with Verstappen coming around the outside on the opening lap, looking at the replays. Who said aggressive driving and a reputation is a bad thing?
The Force Indias of Ocon and Perez both drop down, while the Haas of Grosjean and Magnussen are both inside the top 10 after the start. By Lap 3, Vettel has 2 seconds on Bottas behind him. Verstappen isn’t far behind.
It’s much warmer today, after a very cold qualifying session. The track might be a little bit nicer on the tires as a result, but we still see conflicting strategies all throughout the grid. Formation lap underway, and now they’re lining up for the start. Here. We. Go.
Vettel cut off Raikkonen around the first turn, and Bottas managed to move up past Raikkonen to take second. And it’s Verstappen who is scrapping with Raikkonen, now, and he’s past him! Hamilton is trying a move on Raikkonen as well, and we have … what looks like no crashes around the first couple turns, so that’s a good start!
Vettel is already creating space between him and Bottas behind him!
Before the race
Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari just barely edged out his teammate, Kimi Raikkonen, for pole position going into Sunday’s Formula One Chinese Grand Prix from Shanghai International Circuit. Vettel and Raikkonen have a front-row lockout for Ferrari, ahead of Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes on the second row.
While many races on the 2018 calendar were moved back an hour later to accommodate viewers in specific countries, the race from Shanghai is one of the tougher ones: it begins at 2 a.m. ET on Sunday and will be broadcast by ESPN2. F1 announced that their over-the-top streaming service, F1 TV Pro, will launch in time for the Spanish Grand Prix.
But until then, your best options for live streaming the race are through WatchESPN, the ESPN App or fuboTV (along with any other streaming service that carries ESPN2). One positive about coverage in the United States is that ESPN has elected to go the remainder of the season without running advertisements during F1 races, after a lot of backlash following the Australian Grand Prix.
Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull made it onto the track with just seconds to spare in order to put in a lap in the first qualifying session. Ricciardo had a power unit failure in the final practice, and his team in the garage worked right up until the very last moment before releasing him in time for a lap. He managed to make it to the Q3, where he positioned himself sixth on the grid, behind teammate Max Verstappen.
Nico Hulkenberg of Renault, Sergio Perez of Force India, Carlos Sainz Jr. of Renault and Romain Grosjean of the American-owned Haas F1 Team round out the top 10 of the starting grid, in that order. Kevin Magnussen, Grosjean’s Haas teammate, will start 11th.
Pierre Gasly of Toro Rosso will start 17th after a surprisingly strong showing in Bahrain in which he finished in the points — fourth overall — and was voted as the Driver of the Day.
Below you can find all the viewing and streaming information for the race, and under that is the full starting grid and qualifying times. For an updated look at the standings and race results for the full season, go here.
F1 Chinese Grand Prix Starting Grid
|5||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||1:31.796|
|6||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull||1:31.948|
|8||Sergio Pérez||Force India||1:32.758|
|9||Carlos Sainz Jr.||Renault||1:32.819|
|12||Esteban Ocon||Force India||1:33.057|
|15||Brendon Hartley||Toro Rosso||1:33.795|
|17||Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso||1:34.101|