Full qualifying times HERE
- Hamilton pulls one clear of Jim Clark with 34th pole
- Ricciardo beats team-mate Vettel by half a second
- Rosberg starts P4 after spin, with Alonso 5th and Raikkonen out in Q2
Lewis Hamilton set a new record for pole positions by a British driver after dominating a wet qualifying session for the Chinese Grand Prix.
Daniel Ricciardo will start second on the grid after outqualifying team-mate Sebastian Vettel by half a second, but Ricciardo was 0.6s off Hamilton who was fastest in all three sections of qualifying. Hamilton's 34th pole position moves him one clear of Jim Clark and fourth in the all-time list behind Michael Schumacher, Ayrton Senna and Vettel.
While Vettel appeared to pose a threat to the Mercedes on his first run, Hamilton went 0.6s clear with a 1:54.348 and then lowered his best to a 1:53.860 while team-mate Nico Rosberg struggled. Rosberg will start from fourth place after spinning at the final corner on his last attempt, but he looked unlikely to improve and ended up 1.3s slower than Hamilton.
Fernando Alonso will start from fifth alongside his former Ferrari team-mate Felipe Massa, with Valtteri Bottas, Nico Hulkenberg, Jean-Eric Vergne and Romain Grosjean – taking a Lotus in to Q3 for the first time this season – rounding out the top ten.
While some teams opted for full wets in the first part of qualifying, conditions improved enough to see intermediates used in Q2. With a number of drivers improving on their final laps, the rain intensified in the final sector and Jenson Button, Daniil Kvyat, Kevin Magnussen and Kimi Raikkonen all failed to improve after struggling at the end of the lap.
Raikkonen was closest to making it through but missed out on a spot in the top ten by just 0.013s as Hulkenberg crossed the line before him. Adrian Sutil and Sergio Perez were the other two drivers to drop out after never threatening to make it beyond Q2.
Having already been faced with a five place grid penalty for his incident with Esteban Gutierrez in Bahrain, Pastor Maldonado failed to make it out on track at all in Q1. Having been forced to stop his Lotus out on track during the final practice session, Maldonado was consigned to the garage with an engine sensor issue and will start from last place on the grid.
Ahead of him will be both Caterhams and Marussias, while Gutierrez was the other driver to fail to make it through in to Q2 as he ran wide at the final corner on his last attempt and eventually missed out by half a second.