Max Verstappen REFUSES to change after Sebastian Vettel crash

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Hamilton of Mercedes clocked 1 minute, 33.999 seconds in the morning on the 5.451-kilometre circuit.

His title rival Lewis Hamilton could do no better fourth, with the Briton who had struggled throughout the session, aborting his final flying lap to end up behind even Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas.

"The vehicle was really fantastic, it just kept getting better".

"Thank you guys, great qualifying, great vehicle", said Vettel, who also started from pole in Bahrain last weekend, over the team radio. He collided with Vettel, spinning the Ferrari man down to seventh.

"I need to learn from what happened today".

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Star of the session: Raikkonen has really been the star of the weekend so far and can consider himself quite unlucky to not be on pole position.

Hamilton, who has more wins in Shanghai than anyone else with five, was more than a half-second off Vettel's pace, and admitted he couldn't explain why. 'Today just went away from us, Ferrari upped their pace throughout the weekend, probably not showing their true pace yesterday. "I was just trying to hold on for whatever I had", Hamilton told Sky Sports F1.

"I didn't have to fight so much finding the last fine tunings".

The top two teams, Mercedes and Ferrari have an engine mode which increases the power of their engine momentarily for qualifying.

Carlos Sainz was ninth for Renault with Sergey Sirotkin an encouraging 10th for former champions Williams, who are enduring their worst start to a season since 2013 and are the only one of the 10 teams yet to score a point.

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"That would not be the right mindset", he said. They are two extremes like we had in Bahrain and I think this is what happened.

Verstappen was pushing through the field after Red Bull had pitted both its drivers for fresh soft tyres during a mid-race safety auto, a strategy that his team-mate Daniel Ricciardo converted to victory. "We definitely were not doing that for the cameras", said a clearly relieved Ricciardo.

The 2018 Chinese Grand Prix starts at 2:10pm CST on Sunday April 15 in Shanghai. "That will be fun".

Following on from the Ferrari front row in Bahrain last week, it's another Ferrari front row in China, with Sebastian Vettel on pole and Kimi Raikkonen alongside him. I don't think so. "But it's a track where you need to find that sweet spot and if you are a little bit out you drop a little bit of time", the German said.

"Well, I will analyze everything and I'll try to put that in my knowledge and try to have a better race in Baku".

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"Obviously I wouldn't mind if it stays there, but I think it will be a tight race amongst the top three teams, and a long, tough race, but obviously it's good to start from the front".

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