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Summary

  1. Hamilton out of qualifying after technical problem - will start last with penalty
  2. Rosberg on pole, Ricciardo 2nd, Raikkonen 3rd, Vettel 4th
  3. Hulkenberg loses wheel out on track
  4. Wehrlein crashes after spinning on wet patch - causing delay

Live Reporting

By Gary Rose

All times stated are UK

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Well that was worth getting up early for, wasn't it? 

Lewis Hamilton to fight from the back, Ferrari primed to pounce and Nico Rosberg looking to maintain his fine start to the season - Sunday's race has all the ingredients to serve up a cracker.

We'll be back with build-up to the race bright and early at 05:30 BST tomorrow. See you then!

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Dom Wills: second on the grid! With a more competitive engine they will be all over Mercedes   

Rachel T: Fantastic job @danielricciardo - the Honey Badger Haircut worked! 

Fangio
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That, incidentally, was also Mercedes' first pole since the 1955 Italian Grand Prix with Juan Manuel Fangio.  

There's been a few more since then...

Shanghai flashback

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Nico Rosberg has only ever started on pole once before in China. That was in 2012, and he went on to win the race. He absolutely smashed that race as well, finishing over 20 seconds ahead of Jenson Button.

McLaren
McLaren
Lewis Hamilton
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It would take an almighty effort for Lewis Hamilton to go and win the race tomorrow.

It is four years since a driver who failed to win any of the first three races went on to win the title.

Could this be Nico Rosberg's year?

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Chris Wells: In 2015 Rosberg many technical issues, in '16 they swap mechanics teams and now Hamiltons car is plagued. Conincidence?  

Kieran B: Another boring race beckons....Ros will disappear again. Zzzzzzzzzz  

Ready for the fight

Hamilton
Mercedes

You know this chap will have something special up his sleeve tomorrow.

He fought from a pit lane start to finish third at the 2014 Hungarian Grand Prix, while in the 2012 Spanish Grand Prix he finished eighth after starting at the back of the grid.

'Things could get interesting'

Sebastian Vettel's decision to go for one flying lap backfired. 

The four-time world champion employed the same tactic to secure pole position at the 2009 Chinese Grand Prix - a race he went on to win.

"We saved some tyres for tomorrow," said Vettel. "Nico starts on a different compound so it will be interesting." 

Sebastian Vettel celebrates winning 2009 Chinese grand prix
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Martin Wingate: The #ferrari challenge is a myth created by the media. Merc still way ahead  

Nikey Radio: yup, once again Rosberg has pole position. Looks like its his year. Shame Hamilton couldn't even get out never mind challenge him.

So near, but so far

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The wait goes on for Kimi Raikkonen.

He was so close to a first Chinese Grand Prix pole position and a first pole at any race since the 2008 French GP.

Eight years ago. Where does the time go?

'A shame'

F1
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Kimi Raikkonen, who will start from P3: "I was quite a bit up in the last lap and ran wide on the hairpin and lost time. 

"It's a shame, we had a chance to be top but that's how it goes and we will try to make the best of it tomorrow."

'Pretty awesome'

Daniel Ricciardo
AP

Daniel Ricciardo, who will start P2: "Q3 we found a bit more speed. Not sure where that came from. Second - pretty awesome. We didn't expect this."

'A good weekend'

F1
F1.com

Nico Rosberg, who secured his first pole position of the season: "The whole weekend has gone well, the car was handling well so to get the lap done I am happy. 

"Not ecstatic because Lewis had bad luck so the fight didn't go on but I am pleased."

Right, time to hear from the top three.

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What a qualifying session! #Hamilton with no luck yet again! What a lap from @danielricciardo ! #ChineseGP #bbcf1 #shanghai

'PARKED' FERME... #Quali #ChineseGP 🇨🇳

'PARKED' FERME... #Quali #ChineseGP 🇨🇳

Go-faster hair

Ricciardo
Getty Images

A stonking lap from Daniel Ricciardo, who nicked second from the Ferraris after both Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen fluffed it at Turn 14. 

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner's verdict? "It must be that new go faster hair!"

Chinese GP qualifying result

11) Massa 12) Alonso 13) Button 14) Grosjean 15) Ericsson 16) Nasr 17) Magnussen 18) Gutierrez 19) Palmer 20) Haryanto 21) Wehrlein 22) Hamilton

Chinese GP qualifying top 10

1) Rosberg 2) Ricciardo 3) Raikkonen 4) Vettel 5) Bottas 6) Kvyat 7) Perez 8) Sainz 9) Verstappen 10) Hulkenberg 

Tom Clarkson

BBC Radio 5 live commentator

"That was the first time we have seen a Mercedes properly unleashed in practice and it really shows how good that Mercedes is. There is a cross wind down into turn 13 and I wonder if that caught out the Ferrari drivers."

Mark Gallagher

BBC Radio 5 live Formula 1 analyst

"Vettel ran too deep into the hairpin and all that speed went away. Stand-out performance must be Ricciardo in the Red Bull, that must feel like a victory."

Nico Rosberg: "Car was great again, sorry that the other car didn't make it."

He sounded very sincere when he said he was sorry about the other car as well...

Chequered flag

rOSBERG
Getty Images

NICO ROSBERG SECURES POLE POSITION FOR THE CHINESE GRAND PRIX.

...Kimi Raikkonen can't improve so it is P3 for the Ferrari! What a lap from Daniel Ricciardo, though as he takes P2!

Sebastian Vettel is only fourth quickest, so it is now all with Kimi Raikkonen...

...Nico Rosberg is quickest! A 1:35.402 and that's half a second quicker than Kimi Raikkonen's time. What a lap!

Now, what have the Ferraris got?

Not Nico Rosberg's best time through sector one, but he's fastest of all through sector two...

Rosberg and Vettel head out for their final runs in Q3 Can they leapfrog Kimi? #ChineseGP 🇨🇳 #Quali
Rosberg and Vettel head out for their final runs in Q3 Can they leapfrog Kimi? #ChineseGP 🇨🇳 #Quali

Rosberg and Vettel head out for their final runs in Q3 Can they leapfrog Kimi? #ChineseGP 🇨🇳 #Quali

At this point in Bahrain we were sitting about twiddling our thumbs with pole sorted. This one is going to go to the wire. 

Out go the Ferraris...

Tom Clarkson

BBC Radio 5 live commentator

"It is really windy down here in the pit lane and there is rain in the air. I would suggest Vettel needs to get out there now, get a feel for these windy conditions and hope this rain doesn't arrive."

Three minutes left on the clock and Valtteri Bottas is the first to emerge for the second and final attempt to grab a strong position on the grid.

Mark Gallagher

BBC Radio 5 live Formula 1 analyst

"I don't think anyone was going to put money on Nico Rosberg being almost two tenths of a second down on the lead Ferrari."

After the first runs it is: 1) Raikkonen 2) Rosberg 3) Ricciardo 4) Kvyat 5) Sainz 6) Bottas 7) Verstappen 9) Perez

Here comes Kimi...and it's P1! He goes 0.1s quicker than Nico Rosberg. 

No movement from Sebastian Vettel, who is sitting in his car. Looks like he is going for a one-lap crack at pole.

china
Reuters

Nico Rosberg kicks things off with a 1:36.111 as Sergio Perez almost falls foul of the bump-puddle combo that caught out Pascal Wehrlein earlier, but keeps it together to go second quickest. 

Nico Rosberg takes to the track with super softs on. Kimi Raikkonen is out with a fresh set of the red-walled tyres on his Ferrari. 

The first stab at a pole lap is under way.

Final qualifying starts

After a bizarre scene of a forklift popping a block of tyres inside the hairpin before promptly removing them, the shoot-out for pole is under way.

🚥 GREEN LIGHT: Under way in Q3 and the race for pole is GO... #ChineseGP 🇨🇳 #Quali

🚥 GREEN LIGHT: Under way in Q3 and the race for pole is GO... #ChineseGP 🇨🇳 #Quali

wehrlein
Reuters

A world champion knocked out, a crash, loose wheels and angry Alonso. Plenty of drama. Never a need for elimination-style qualifying.