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Max not unhappy with P9 in Chinese GP qualifying

Published on 16 April 2016 by Stefan Meens

Max Verstappen will start the Chinese Grand Prix from ninth. The Dutchman qualified in the top ten for the third consecutive time on a partially damp track. Pole position was once again for Mercedes with Nico Rosberg claiming top spot. Daniel Ricciardo surprised with P2 ahead of Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel.

“I'm not unhappy. Of course you always hope for a better result, but we were in the top ten again, which is always important”, said Max to “I definitely see possibilities to get a better result in the race. A lot will depend on strategy so I'm looking forward to an interesting race.”

At the start of Q1, it is dry but the track is partially damp. The drivers need to be particular careful on the start finish straight. Nevertheless, Pascal Wehrlein falls victim to aquaplaning. The Manor driver loses control as he crosses the finish line, narrowly avoids the pit wall before crashing into the barriers.

A fairly lengthy red flag period follows in which the marshals recover the Manor and attempt to 'mop' the wet patches on the straight. After the session is resumed, most drivers head out for a single timed lap. Max does one flying lap that takes him up to ninth and therefore secures his place in Q2.

Rio Haryanto, Jolyon Palmer, Estaban Gutierrez and Kevin Magnussen join Wehrlein in the group that will not progress to the second part of qualifying. A surprise addition to this group is world champion Lewis Hamilton. The Mercedes driver does not set a time and will start the race from the back of the grid.

Q2 is also red flagged. With only a couple of minutes on the clock – and most drivers having set a time – Nico Hulkenberg loses his left front wheel on his out lap. The resulting red flag means that a second flying lap is not possible any more. Both Saubers, McLarens, Romain Grosjean and Felipe Massa miss out on progressing to the final part of qualifying.

Nine drivers contest Q3. After the first timed laps, Max sits in seventh, his team mate Carlos Sainz in P5. Raikkonen takes an early lead but Nico Rosberg claims pole with his second flying lap. Max is able to improve on his time but ends the session in P9, one place behind Sainz.

Chinese Grand Prix - Shanghai International Circuit - Saturday 16 April 


P  No Driver             Team          Q1         Q2         Q3         Laps
 1  6 Nico Rosberg       Mercedes      1:37.669   1:36.240   1:35.402   16
 2  3 Daniel Ricciardo   Red Bull      1:37.672   1:36.815   1:35.917   13
 3  7 Kimi Räikkönen     Ferrari       1:37.347   1:36.118   1:35.972   13
 4  5 Sebastian Vettel   Ferrari       1:37.001   1:36.183   1:36.246   10
 5 77 Valtteri Bottas    Williams      1:37.537   1:36.831   1:36.296   13
 6 26 Daniil Kvyat       Red Bull      1:37.719   1:36.948   1:36.399   14
 7 11 Sergio Perez       Force India   1:38.096   1:37.149   1:36.865   15
 8 55 Carlos Sainz       Toro Rosso    1:37.656   1:37.204   1:36.881   15
 9 33 Max Verstappen     Toro Rosso    1:38.181   1:37.265   1:37.194   15
10 27 Nico Hulkenberg    Force India   1:38.165   1:37.333              10
11 19 Felipe Massa       Williams      1:38.016   1:37.347               9
12 14 Fernando Alonso    McLaren       1:38.451   1:38.826              11
13 22 Jenson Button      McLaren       1:37.593   1:39.093              11
14  8 Romain Grosjean    Haas          1:38.425   1:39.830              13
15  9 Marcus Ericsson    Sauber        1:38.321   1:40.742              11
16 12 Felipe Nasr        Sauber        1:38.654   1:42.430              11
17 20 Kevin Magnussen    Renault       1:38.673                          9
18 21 Esteban Gutierrez  Haas          1:38.770                          9
19 30 Jolyon Palmer      Renault       1:39.528                          9
20 88 Rio Haryanto       Manor         1:40.264                          9
NC 94 Pascal Wehrlein    Manor         DNF                               2
NC 44 Lewis Hamilton     Mercedes      DNS                               3 

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