Marko: Verstappen threw away win with clash

Lewis Hamilton revealed to reporters he was once close to a punch-up with an F1 rival driver

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel edged out teammate Kimi Raikkonen to take pole position for Sunday's Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai, as Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton struggled.

Sebastian Vettel claimed pole ahead of his team-mate Kimi Raikkonen by just 0.087 seconds. Valtteri Bottas was third fastest and his Mercedes teammate and defending world champion Lewis Hamilton fourth.

The young Dutchman was subsequently handed a 10-second penalty that was added to his race time, while Vettel dropped down to sixth place.

Another interesting team to watch will be Red Bull.

"We spent a bit of time during the first session today working on the setup of the auto in order to understand it better", explained Verstappen.

The rest of the top ten sees Hulkenberg in the Renault in seventh, the Force India of Perez in eighth, the second Renault driven by Sainz in ninth and Romain Grosjean for Haas in 10th.

It was not a good session for McLaren.

Outside the top 10, Kevin Magnussen picked up P11 ahead of Esteban Ocon, Fernando Alonso, Stoffel Vandoorne and Brendon Hartley.

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Verstappen's aggressive driving style has once again been brought into question after he put both himself and Vettel into a spin and essentially ruled himself out of at least a podium finish.

In the opening stages of the race, Vettel seemed to comfortably control the pace, keeping Bottas about 2.5 seconds behind.

Speaking after qualifying, Vettel waxed lyrical about the handling of his vehicle.

"Maybe we didn't get the tyres absolutely ideal for the lap but I don't think it would have been enough for us to beat the Ferraris", he said. I was very happy with the settings I had from the beginning. "I know the title is not won and lost in two races, and the experiences of the last two grands prix strengthen you, but I don't want to fall any further behind".

"I said to him "look, the races are long and you threw your podium away".

Valtteri Bottas appeared on course to claim his victory after a strategy error by Ferrari allowed the Mercedes vehicle to move ahead of Vettel during their one and only round of pit stops. Let us know your thoughts in the comments. The start will be an opportunity, and the strategy, too, but the auto felt like night and day. "We have nothing that you could change like that".

Sergey Sirotkin missed out on the first Q2 appearance of his career by 0.049s and will start 16th on the grid after setting a time 0.039s faster than Toro Rosso's Pierre Gasly, who will start 17th in China after finishing the Bahrain Grand Prix fourth two weeks ago.

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