Shanghai: Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton has taken pole position for the Formula One Chinese Grand Prix. Hamilton's best time on Saturday at the Shanghai International Circuit was 1 minute, 34.484 seconds, qualifying a quarter of a second ahead of Lotus' Kimi Raikkonen. Ferrari's Fernando Alonso will start third in Sunday's race.
A cat-and-mouse qualifying session saw all runners restrict their time on the track to preserve their tires for the race, with all of the top 10 having only one flying lap in the final stage of qualifying.
McLaren's Jenson Button and Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel both elected to do their flying lap on the harder of the two tire compounds, sacrificing grid position so they can have a longer stint at the beginning of the race. Button qualified eighth and Vettel ninth.
Red Bull's Mark Webber had a fuel pressure failure in the second sector of qualifying, putting him 14th. He will start from the back of the grid, however, if there is not enough fuel in the car to provide a sample to stewards.
Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg, last year's winner, qualified in fourth, ahead of Ferrari's Felipe Massa, Lotus' Romain Grosjean and Daniel Ricciardo of Toro Rosso. Sauber's Nico Hulkenberg was tenth.