Lewis Hamilton says he is unconcerned by the small gap to Nico Rosberg following qualifying for the Chinese Grand Prix, saying he would have reinstated his comfortable margin to his team-mate had he maximised his second flying lap.

The championship leader's first Q3 effort of 1min 35.782secs would ultimately prove good enough to secure pole position for the third race of the season, though Rosberg would get to within four hundredths on his second and final soft tyre effort.

However, Hamilton insists he had the pace to establish a more convincing margin had gotten the best from the tyres on his final effort.

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"The first lap was very good, very happy with it," he said. "You always naturally feel you can improve a little bit on the next, but on the next lap I didn't extract the most from the tyres. I could have done better and the gap (2-3 tenths) would have been the same."

Hamilton also reiterated the threat posed by Ferrari over a race distance, though he remains confident a better prepared Mercedes will be able to head off any challenge.

"They've done a great job to improve, and I think their pace is going to be different tomorrow compared to today as they are close on long run pace. They're also really good at looking after their tyres, but I feel we are strong enough to handle whatever they throw at us."