Lewis Hamilton put in a blinder of a lap in China this afternoon to secure the 63rd pole of his career, his sixth in a row and the 75th for Mercedes.

Lining up alongside him for Sunday's race is the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel, who pipped Hamilton's teammate, Valtteri Bottas to P2 by one thousandth of a second.

The second Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen will start alongside Bottas in P4 while Aussie driver Daniel Ricciardo will start fifth.

"The Ferrari's have looked so fast," said Hamilton. "We knew it was going to be close and we had to pull out all the stops. I manage to chip away at it. It's more exciting than ever for me because we are really fighting these guys. That's what racing is all about and it pushes you on."

Felipe Massa was a solid sixth for Williams ahead of Nico Hulkenberg in the Renault, Renault's first time in the top ten for a very long time. Perez, Kvyat and Lance Stroll rounded out the top ten.

Meanwhile, Antonio Giovinazzi caused the opening qualifying session to be halted a few minutes early when he crashed into the wall. However, he was in 16th palce at the time so managed to put the Sauber into Q2, even if he was unable to go out on track in the second session due to the damage.

The big news of the session was Max Verstappen, who failed to get out of Q1