14/04/12 - 07:00
Finished
Chinese Grand Prix
LIVE
Shanghai International Circuit • Qualifying
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Qualifying

Follow the Chinese Grand Prix live with Eurosport. The race starts at 07:00 on 14 April 2012. Find race results, standings, stats, scores and track info. Keep up with the top F1 drivers and teams including Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), Valteri Bottas (Mercedes) and Max Verstappen (Red Bull Racing).
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Highlights 
 
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I'll be back to talk you through the race from 07:30 tomorrow UK time - the race starts at 08:00 - look forward to seeing you then!

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What about Rosberg? Can Mercedes back it up in the race? How will McLaren get on? Are the Saubers a serious factor in China? What happened to Vettel? Tell me what you think and join me on Twitter @Mark_Eurosport

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Hamilton, of course, will be five places lower after his grid penalty.

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The top 10: Rosberg, Hamilton, Schumacher, Kobayashi, Raikkonen, Button, Webber, Perez, Alonso, Grosjean

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Stunning lap from Rosberg. Half a second clear of the field, and it had been so tight up until then.

0' 

Grosjean has also pulled out of his quick lap and he'll start from 10th.

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Hamilton has eased off - Schumacher has eased off - ROSBERG WILL BE ON POLE POSITION!

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Alonso bottom of the pack so far, though Grosjean yet to post a time.

0' 

Button 5th - Kobayashi quicker than him for fourth!

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SESSION OVER - eight laps to count through.

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Perez slots behind Webber in sixth, but there's a flurry of cars to come through now. Eight cars on track.

1' 

Rosberg won't run again! He's taken the helmet off and heading to the weighing room! He thinks he's done enough - and he's probably right.

2' 

1:36.290 for Webber, more than a second down on Rosberg, behind everyone else who has posted a time. He's beaten Vettel, though, for the third time in a row.

3' 

Webber just behind after sector one. Everyone out on track now.

4' 

Webber out on track and about to begin his first timed lap - just four racers have put a lap down - everyone else going for just one run.

5' 

"Not bad" says Schumacher when he hears Rosberg's lap time. You don't say. It's going to take something special to deny him his first pole.

6' 

What a time from Rosberg - and here's the proof - Schumacher 0.570 seconds down! Hamilton manages to squeeze ahead of Schumacher, but he's nowhere near Rosberg.

7'

Rosberg sweeping around the corners, and the Mercedes responding well to his every move. Raikkonen sets a 1:35.898 - Rosberg smashes it! 1:35.121 - that may be very hard for anyone to top!

8' 

Hamilton also goes out for a first attempt. No sign of Button - perhaps he'll just run once having used an extra set of soft tyres in Q2.

9' 

It's getting a little cooler outside, Mercedes tell Rosberg. So both their drivers are out early.

10'

Away we go in Q3! Raikkonen straight out.

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Eliminated from Q2: Vettel, Massa, Maldonado, Maldonado, Senna, di Resta, Hulkenberg, Ricciardo

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Vettel was only 0.331 seconds behind team-mate Webber, who finished first in Q2, and yet he misses out. But the margins are so tight today. Mercedes look to be quickest, but several drivers have a chance of ending up on pole today. Could be a thriller in Q3.

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He was 0.049 seconds behind Alonso, and he hasn't looked comfortable all day. He will start 11th. That is a major shock for the man who had been on pole in China for the last three years.

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AND HE DOESN'T! VETTEL MISSES OUT ON Q3.

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Webber through - fastest! 1:35.700! Button up to eighth, Grosjean ahead of him in 7th - Vettel has to improve his time to reach Q3!

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Perez and Kobayashi in third and fourth - Sauber looking very sharp. Massa down and out of the top 10.

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SESSION OVER - a few cars left to watch out for, including Webber and Vettel...

0' 

Di Resta slots in just behind Massa in 11th - Senna then splits the two drivers, then Maldonado 11th - Massa hanging on in 10th!

1' 

Here comes Alonso - up to 6th - is it enough? And Massa - 10th! It's not going to be enough, surely?

1' 

Mercedes sitting happily in the pit, Raikkonen too - the rest are on track.

2' 

Alonso just ahead of Massa as they take on their flying laps. Good sector one run from Massa, would be just enough to get him into the top 10 if he could keep it up.

3' 

Massa back out on track on a clear Shanghai International Circuit, but he has to find 0.8 seconds to get into the top 10 as it stands - and more to withstand others improving their times.

4' 

Hamilton tells his crew that his third sector "wasn't great", but McLaren sound very wary of the Mercedes' pace.

4' 

Vettel stays out on the same tyres and takes just a hundredth of a second off his time - while Webber is two-tenths further back.

5' 

The bottom seven (from 11th) - Maldonado, Hulkenberg, Ricciardo, Senna, Di Resta, Massa, Grosjean

6' 

Vettel told his 1:36.0 is 'probably not enough' - but his engineers are debating whether to use a new set of tyres or send him out on the same set and hope he can squeeze out a little more.

7' 

Grosjean now out on track, the last to post a lap - Rosberg, Schumacher, Hamilton, Raikkonen, Kobayashi, Vettel, Button, Perez, Webber, Alonso

8' 

Schumacher tucks in behind Rosberg, while the McLarens go third and sixth.

9'

Rosberg shaves that down to a 1:35.725 - Alonso some way back in fourth place. That's not a good sign for Ferrari.

10' 

Only Grosjean yet to come out. Here come the first lap times... Kobayashi with a 1:35.9 to kick us off.

11' 

Looks like it has to be option soft tyres for the racers now - there's just not room to take it easy with this little separating the field.

12' 

De la Rosa looks as if he is being investigated as well for an incident with Senna in Q3. Still no word on the Maldonado/Kovalainen incident either.

13' 

Kobayashi and Perez are the first men to make a move, while Raikkonen, Rosberg and Alonso also venture out.

14' 

Again, no early runners in this one - there's plenty at stake, and opportunities for the traditional midfield teams like Force India, Sauber and Williams to spring a surprise or two and make it into the top 10.

15'

Q2 begins!

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Not much to separate the drivers after Q3. Ricciardo in 17th was only 0.735 adrift of the leading mark from Sergio Perez. Everyone is going to have to be on their game in the second session.

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As for Button, just to confirm, he was indeed doing just one lap on the soft tyres, presumably to tune them up for Q2.

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Eliminated after Q3: Vergne, Kovalainen, Petrov, Glock, Pic, De la Rosa, Karthikeyan

0' 

Glock cannot improve on 21st, Vergne returns to the pits defeated, and Karthikeyan cannot improve on 24th.

0' 

The back-markers are jostling for position amongst themselves - Petrov up to 20th behind his team-mate by one-thousandth of a second!

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SESSION OVER! Only last laps left to factor in...

1' 

Vergne the last man who has a realistic chance of improving his time - and he can't - he stays 18th, but might be able to summon one last effort.

2' 

Maldonado sweeps in front with a very solid lap, before Alonso's 1:36.292 sets the new standard. It's only top for a moment as Sergio Perez sets a 1:36.198. Suddenly 1:36.9 looks a little bit tighter...

2' 

Revised top 10: Grosjean, Massa, Di Resta, Senna, Webber, Button, hamilton, Schumacher, Raikkonen, Kobayashi

2' 

Jenson Button heads out on the soft tyre - he doesn't need to be out there - is he just warming the tyres up for Q2?

3' 

Raikkonen goes out again but stays on the mediums - he may well be safe in ninth place anyhow. Di Resta into second on the softs.

4' 

Top seven in the pits - Massa steals a tenth of a second on the lot of them and posts a 1:36.556. Good enough to go top and reach Q2, but it's a set of the quicker tyres burned to do it. Alonso also out on the softer tyres.

5' 

Massa quickest of everyone through the first sector on the super soft tyres. He's 16th but far from safe at present. In the elimination zone ar eVergne, Kovalainen, Petrov, Glock, Pic, De la Rosa, Karthikeyan.

6' 

Schumacher now leaps above Rosberg and into fourth. Meanwhile Maldonado and Kovalainen are being looked at by the stewards for impeding other drivers.

7' 

Rosberg moves ahead of his team-mate, and here comes Felipe Massa on the super soft tyres to try to ensure his qualification.

8' 

Button improves to second, six-hundredths adrift of Webber. Vettel asks whether his lap is good enough - and is told that it should be. So anyone under 1:37 - as the top six are, should be happy enough.

9' 

Time check on the Mercedes - Schumacher slots into fifth with Rosberg behind by a few hundredths.

10'

Vetttel third! The Red Bull loses quite a bit of time through sector three, but team-mate Webber sneaks to the top of the standings with a 1:36.682 to eclipse Hamilton

11' 

Vettel looking in very good shape and is quickest through sector two, while Button has stayed out and appears set to improve his time...

12' 

Top 10: Hamilton, Kobayashi, Button, Raikkonen, Perez, Maldonado, Alonso, Grosjean, Senna, Hulkenberg - Red Bulls and Mercedes yet to post times...

13' 

1:36.763 for Hamilton - that's considerably quicker - will he feel confident heading back to the pits for the rest of the session after that?

14' 

Button slots in a 1:37.165 to go to the top of the standings, but Hamilton is hot on his heels...

15' 

Hamilton begins his first fast lap of the day, and he's a quarter of a second quicker by the first sector timecheck.

16' 

Di Resta through in a 1:38.1 - Massa eclipses it marginally with a 1:37.9. These two are on medium tyres, which for the Chinese Grand Prix are the harder of the two compounds. Super softs should see quicker times.

17' 

Di Resta begins his first flying lap. Massa about 15 seconds further down the trafck than him also gets underway.

18' 

Here we go - medium tyres for Paul di Resta as the Scot gets underway. Massa joins him in the Ferrari, as does Karthikeyan in the HRT.

19' 

Nobody waiting at the pit exit to get away - the track temperature is around 26C but should warm up (and lead to better times) later in the session.

20'

We are away!

07:00 

Q1 just about to begin. Here's the format if you need a refresher - all 24 drivers have 20 minutes to set the quickest lap possible. The seven slowest drivers eliminated. That is likely to account for the two HRTs, the Marussias and the Caterhams, but who else? Felipe Massa under pressure in the Ferrari - he'll be one to watch.

07:00 

Predictions for today? Whisper it gently, but I think if Michael Schumacher gets it right, he might be the one to profit from Hamilton's grid penalty and put the Mercedes on pole position.

06:55

WEATHER: It's warmer than yesterday, but not warm by the standards of Grands Prix. Temperatures in Shanghai is 20C, and there's a mix of sunshine and cloud.

06:50 

Qualifying begins in 10 minutes. Lewis Hamilton was quickest in final practice, but cannot be on pole today because of a five-place grid penalty.

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Good morning everyone and welcome to live text commentary of the qualifying action in China.