Chinese Grand Prix Qualifying: FERRARI front row - Hamilton fourth

Chinese Grand Prix Qualifying: FERRARI front row - Hamilton fourth

The Chinese Grand Prix was a race of mixed fortunes for Red Bull Racing.

Verstappen had already run wide having failed to pass Lewis Hamilton but had dispatched the world champion and closing in on Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel.

The team will be cursing their misfortune from the opening round in Australia and will also rue not being able to take victory in the previous round in Bahrain when they looked to be clearly faster in race trim.

"It's not what you want and of course it's easier to say afterwards yeah I should have waited, probably would have been the best idea but unfortunately it happened".

The 52nd career pole for the German comes on the back of a strong run in Bahrain, where the team had the quickest auto over the weekend and they will be further buoyed by this performance It is their first pole in China since Rubens Barrichello was quickest in 2004 and the first time Mercedes have been beaten to the front of this grid here since 2012. But credit has to be given to the crew who managed to get the Australian on track with just three minutes remaining in Q1, giving him enough time to set a lap which was good enough to earn him a place in Q2.

"If this is the start of a new era, then Lewis Hamilton will have to think carefully about whether he signs up to Mercedes for a long-term contract", he added. The Briton described him using an expletive when watching a replay after the race, and said Verstappen had shown a lack of respect.

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"It should be hotter tomorrow", Hamilton said, "which could turn everything on its head".

"We spent a bit of time during the first session today working on the setup of the vehicle in order to understand it better", explained Verstappen. "But it is a bit hard to judge right now".

When asked if it had been an amicable conversation, Verstappen replied: "Yeah I mean of course".

"Obviously, I wouldn't mind if it stays there, but I think it will be a tight race among the top three teams". It is very unfortunate those things happening. I didn't want to compromise my race.

The Dutchman was pushing through the field and fighting Vettel for third place when he made a late move at the hairpin on lap 43 - clashing with his Ferrari rival and pitching both into a spin. "He realised that he did a mistake", said Vettel. "It was Max's mistake". We had tailwinds all race down the back straight. I should have known. I don't know. There is nothing I can do. I wasn't going to resist anyway. "However, I appreciated the fact he came to me straightway because that's the way to solve things like this, face to face".

"I had the older tyre on and I was running out of it".

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