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Bottas, Gutierrez bow out in first qualifying

A quiet start to qualifying in China snared Valtteri Bottas and Esteban Gutierrez among the expected casualties.
Williams maintained its sorry record of losing a driver in each opening qualifying session of 2013 as Valtteri Bottas was unable to keep hold of a place above the drop zone in China.

The Finn was the last driver to set a time in Q1 at the Shanghai International Circuit, but an ill-handling FW35 was only briefly able to raise him above the bottom six, and improvements from Toro Rosso duo Jean-Eric Vergne and Daniel Ricciardo quickly dumped the rookie back into danger.

Bottas will start 17th for the third round of the season, penalties elsewhere pending, and will line up ahead of fellow newcomer Esteban Gutierrez, who missed the cut for a second time, after similarly failing to make the grade in Melbourne.

The pair join the usual suspects in the early bath, despite a spirited effort from Jules Bianchi, who had Marussia on the edge of its seats as he hovered above the trapdoor until the final couple of minutes. The Frenchman's effort could be explained by the fact that his opening salvo was conducted on the softer rubber while the likes of Toro Rosso opted for the medium compound, and was undone when those in danger benefited from the faster tyre late on.

Bianchi will be joined on row ten by Marussia team-mate Max Chilton, while Charles Pic heads Caterham colleague Giedo van der Garde at the back of the field.

Mercedes set the pace at the other end of the timesheets, with Lewis Hamilton clocking a 1min 35.793secs lap to edge out team-mate Nico Rosberg and Ferrari's Felipe Massa.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
12.04.2013- Free Practice 2, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W04
12.04.2013- Free Practice 1, Jules Bianchi (FRA) Marussia F1 Team MR02
12.04.2013- Free Practice 1, Esteban Gutierrez (MEX), Sauber F1 Team C32
12.04.2013- Free Practice 1, Valtteri Bottas (FIN), Williams F1 Team FW35
Williams, FW40, teaser shot [Credit: Williams Martini Racing]
Valtteri Bottas, Nico Rosberg
Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes AMG Petronas
Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes AMG Petronas
Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes AMG Petronas
Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes AMG Petronas
Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas
27.11.2016 - Race, Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 and Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Haas F1 Team VF-16
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 with Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW38
27.11.2016 - Race, Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW38
27.11.2016 - Race, Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW38
27.11.2016 - Race, Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW38
27.11.2016 - Race, Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW38 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams FW38 and Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW38

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