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Summary

  1. Hamilton on pole, Vettel 2nd by 1,000th of a second from Bottas
  2. Mercedes and Ferrari swapping top times
  3. Giovinazzi crashes heavily, Verstappen out in Q1 with problem
  4. Get involved #bbcf1

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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Genuinely starting to believe this could be one of the most exciting seasons in a long time and tomorrow's race promises to be an absolute belter - Vettel v Hamilton, Max at the back and the prospect of a bit of rain. Can't. Wait.

Let's just hope the smog stays away.

That's it from us, if you missed the race and want to see what happened then have a read of Andrew Benson's report.  

Set the alarm - 07:00 BST. This is a race you won't want to miss!

Predict the Chinese GP top 10

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Fancy a crack at predicting the top 10 for tomorrow's race? Then head here to do just that.

If yesterday's race wasn't shaping up to be exciting enough, look at where Max Verstappen is starting from - 19th.

The lad loves an overtake. A repeat of Brazil 2016?

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Jared Maobe:  This season is showing its Lewis Hamilton who is a great driver not car, even when Ferrari seems to have a better car now.

Denislov Lietnev:  Perfect last lap from Hamilton to get pole and now they should get the strategy right for race day

Josephat Okora undefined :   I still believe Ferrari has a better race car. Can't wait for tomorrow 

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Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas who qualified third: "It is a real shame [to miss out on front row by one thousandth]. In the race tomorrow we are first and third and that is a good place to start. 

"Lewis was strong today, Ferrari are always strong. We were always expecting it to be close and it will be the same tomorrow."

Toto Wolff says the 1,000th of a second that separated Valtteri Bottas and Sebastian Vettel is equal to 5.9cm. Incredibly close.

'It is more exciting than ever'

And a final word from Lewis Hamilton, who is clearly very excited about the potential battle he has on his hands: "We are really fighting these guys. It’s amazing. It is what racing is all about. It pushes you to have to raise the bar."

Lewis Hamilton
Reuters

More Lewis Hamilton:  "It has been an interesting weekend so far. Today was a real challenge we had to compile a lot of yesterday's testing into this morning and hope we hit the nail on the head with the balance of the car.

"Ferrari looked so fast. I managed to chip away, session to session, the last lap was my best which is always the plan."

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F1.com

Lewis Hamilton: "We knew it would be close. We knew we'd need a perfect lap. Very, very happy and super grateful to the team.

"It's more exciting than ever fighting these guys. It's amazing."

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Max-Well-Made-It : Get in Lewis!!! Get strategy right tomorrow and should be a good weekend

Kai:  Going to be a great season

Amit Mandalia:  F1 imagine if tomorrow is wet... now that would be an exciting race

Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas
Getty Images

Lewis Hamilton certainly knows his way around the Shanghai International Circuit. He has taken pole position in six of the last 11 races.


          Lewis Hamilton qualifies on pole position for the 2007 Chinese Grand Prix
Getty Images
Lewis Hamilton qualifies on pole position for the 2007 Chinese Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton now has 63 career pole position, putting him within two of Ayrton Senna's record and five of Michael Schumacher's.

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Reece Young:  Lewis Hamilton absolutely stunning. Looked behind but he always pulls it out of the bag. Absolutely smashed it

Babatunde Sakiru: Lewis is magnificent, using his driving skills to relegate Sebastian. What a hot lap!!!

Rimal: The start is going to be crucial tomorrow - turn 1 could have contact.

While Lewis Hamilton gets weighed Sebastian Vettel has a right old nosey at Hamilton's car.

That is the Briton's sixth pole position in a row and sixth in China. Very much the king of qualifying.

Mark Gallagher

BBC Radio 5 live Formula 1 analyst

Vettel only 0.001 of a second faster than Bottas!

That was crucial. I think Ferrari and Vettel will be happy with that performance.

They have a great race car and Mercedes will be aware of that.

Qualifying top 10

1) Hamilton 2) Vettel 3) Bottas 4) Raikkonen 5) Ricciardo 6) Massa 7) Hulkenberg 8) Perez 9) Kvyat 10) Stroll

Mark Gallagher

BBC Radio 5 live Formula 1 analyst

It is a terrific sixth pole for Hamilton here but he will absolutely know he has a race on his hands.

He will be happy with that because Lewis likes a fight.

Lewis Hamilton
Reuters

Sebastian Vettel does a 1:31.864 to go P2, not enough to deny Lewis Hamilton but a great time and a great position on the track. He beat Valtteri Bottas by just one thousandth of a second.

So close.

Chequered flag

LEWIS HAMILTON SECURES POLE POSITION FOR THE CHINESE GRAND PRIX.

Lewis Hamilton
EPA

Jack Nicholls

Radio 5 live Formula 1 commentator

Wow. That is quite a lap time from Hamilton.

...and it's a great lap by Lewis Hamilton! A 1:31.678 to strengthen his grip on top spot...

Lewis Hamilton is not the fastest of all through the first sector but is through the middle one...

Mark Gallagher

BBC Radio 5 live Formula 1 analyst

It is remarkable to think that Ricciardo is 1.3 seconds behind Hamilton. 

It shows how Red Bull have dropped into that second division with the Renault and Williams.

Red Bull
Getty Images

The cars head back out on to the circuit.

Two-and-half minutes to go.

Get strapped in, this is going to be close.

Mark Gallagher

BBC Radio 5 live Formula 1 analyst

That was a disappointing lap for Raikkonen. It didn't look good from the beginning. He was down in every sector. Kimi won't be happy. 

Vettel fastest of all in first sector but just started to lose out to Hamilton over the lap.

What a lap for Hamilton, throwing down the gauntlet to Ferrari.

Back to the pits everyone goes to prepare for one last qualifying lap.

Sebastian Vettel needs to dig in and find a few tenths from somewhere.

... and Sebastian Vettel is SLOWER than Lewis Hamilton. He is just under two tenths down on Hamilton's time with 1:32.086.

Sebastian Vettel
Getty Images

... Valtteri Bottas goes second quickest, three tenths slower than Lewis Hamilton. Kimi Raikkonen 1:32.616 and slots in P3.

Here comes Sebastian Vettel...

It's a 1:31.902 for Lewis Hamilton. That's the time to beat...

Mark Gallagher

BBC Radio 5 live Formula 1 analyst

Hamilton is definitely up on Raikkonen but Vettel is going fastest of all!

... but Sebastian Vettel is fastest of all through sector one.

Lewis Hamilton is up on Kimi Raikkonen through the first sector...

Lewis Hamilton starts his flying lap. Everyone apart from Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll are out on the track.

Final qualifying starts

This is going to be an absolutely fascinating battle. Any one from four drivers could easily take pole position in 12 minutes' time. Too close to call.

The top 10 shootout is under way.

Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel
EPA

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Samantha Juanita:  Tomorrow's race is already looking exciting - Verstappen overtaking fun times (fix that engine please red bull!)

David NicholsonHirst:  Looks like Ferrari have the fastest car but not the fastest driver Lewis will put this on pole

Robert Newman: I would love to see the so-called top drivers all in exactly the same car. Then we would see who is best.

Mark Gallagher

BBC Radio 5 live Formula 1 analyst

This is what we wanted and what we hoped the new regulations would produce, competitive racing at the front. 

Vettel and Raikkonen are doing a sterling job of putting pressure on Mercedes.

IN

1) Raikkonen 2) Vettel 3) Hamilton 4) Bottas 5) Ricciardo 6) Hulkenberg 7) Massa 8) Perez 9) Kvyat 10) Stroll