After Sebastian Vettel’s stunning Malaysian Grand Prix victory from second on the grid two weeks ago, it was back to business as usual on Saturday as Mercedes scored a front row lockout in Saturday’s Chinese F1 GP qualifying session.
It was 2015 Malaysian GP runner-up and reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton who took pole position at the Shanghai International Circuit to maintain his 100% qualifying record in 2015, with teammate Nico Rosberg just four hundredths of a second slower on a time of 1:35.824.
Ferrari’s four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel had to settle for third with a time of 1:36.687, while colleague Kimi Raikkonen will start a disappointing sixth on the grid after a poor final lap in Q3.
Good Qualifying Session for Williams in China
Finishing fourth and fifth at the Shanghai International Circuit with respective times of 1:36.954 and 1:37.143, Williams’ Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas enjoyed a productive qualifying session on Saturday and will hope to maintain their pace and push Ferrari for a podium in Sunday’s race.
Both Sauber Cars Make Q3
Continuing their excellent start to the season, Sauber drivers Felipe Nasr and Marcus Ericsson qualified ninth and tenth respectively at the Shanghai International Circuit, proving just how good the 2015 Ferrari engine is.
Toro Rosso Eliminated in Q2
Meanwhile, the youngest ever points scorer in F1, Max Verstappen, and his Toro Rosso colleague, Carlos Sainz Jr, were both surprisingly eliminated in China’s Q2, with Verstappen losing a lot of time by locking-up just before the final corner.
All in all, although Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo qualified a respectable seventh, the Renault engine’s that both constructors use did not appear suited to the two long straight sections of the Shanghai International Circuit and that’s a major hindrance.
Button Again Out Qualifies Alonso
Both McLaren drivers were eliminated in Q1 and will therefore start from the back of the grid in the 2015 Chinese Grand Prix, but Britain’s Jenson Button enjoyed a little success after beating teammate Fernando Alonso by four thousandths of a second to line up sixteenth on the grid in Sunday’s race.
McLaren, it has to be said, do look to be slowly improving race by race as Button was hovering around the top ten in practice, with Alonso not too far behind.
Chinese F1 Grand Prix Betting
Pole-sitter Hamilton is priced at 1/3 with Bet Victor and several other firms, while teammate Rosberg is 4/1 (2 places, 1/3 odds) with William Hill. Third on the grid, Ferrari’s Vettel is offered at 16/1 win only with Coral.
The Chinese F1 Grand Prix Betting Verdict
All in all, Hamilton’s car could break down during the race, he could get passed on the first corner or even have a bad pit stop, so the Briton – while by far the likely race winner – isn’t worth betting on at the price.
Instead, while it’s fair to say that Hamilton has the measure of his teammate in 2015, Rosberg wasn’t far behind in qualifying and as an e/w bet at 4/1 should at least yield a little profit with the possibility of more.
Vettel should finish on the podium again, but at 1/3 there’s little point in betting on him. Raikkonen (9/4, Sky Bet) Bottas (11/2, Bet Victor) and Massa (6/1 Bet Victor) are the only other plausible contenders for such a feat.
Indeed, I’m tempted to advise Bottas at 11/2, but if Rosberg finishes second as expected and the Finn doesn’t make the podium, we’d be losing money, so just one bet it is.
Advised Bets: Rosberg e/w race winner @ 4/1 with William Hill
Tune into Sky Sports F1 from 07:00 on Sunday to watch the action unfold