Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel pipped team-mate Kimi Räikkönen to pole in Shanghai for the 2018 Chinese Grand Prix, more than half a second clear of the rest of the field.
Räikkönen had spent all of Q3 on top of the timesheets, setting a new track record in the process, only for Vettel to go 0.087sec faster on his last run to claim his second pole in as many races.
Valtteri Bottas beat team-mate Lewis Hamilton to line up third, as the Briton aborted his final qualifying run.
The top four will all start Sunday’s race on the soft tyre.
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo were unable to capitalise on Hamilton pitting, falling a little more than a tenth short – with Verstappen beating Ricciardo to the inside of row three. Ricciardo almost failed to make qualifying entirely following a turbo failure in free practice three, only setting one lap in the closing minutes of Q1 and squeezing through in 14th.
Hülkenberg qualified seventh once again ahead of Sergio Pérez of Force India, with Carlos Sainz ninth and Romain Grosjean 10th. Grosjean had earlier suffered brake-by-wire problems in FP3.
Kevin Magnussen missed out on Q2 by little more than 0.1sec to start 11th alongside Esteban Ocon. Fernando Alonso claimed 13th, 0.3sec ahead of his team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne, with Brendon Hartley 15th.
Neither Williams made it out of Q1, with Sergey Sirotkin 16th and Lance Stroll 18th, split by Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly.
Charles Leclerc in 19th beat his Sauber team-mate Marcus Ericsson for the first time this season.
Chinese Grand Prix qualifying classification
Red Bull Racing
Red Bull Racing
For full analysis of the Chinese Grand Prix, sign up for the Mark Hughes newsletter to receive the in-depth Grand Prix report direct to your inbox.