Valtteri Bottas was narrowly pipped to a front row spot in China by one thousandth of a second by Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.
Vettel prevent an all-Mercedes front row, but Bottas was still happy despite losing out by such a slender margin.
“It is a real shame Seb managed to get between us,” said Bottas, who added that there were plenty of opportunities to lose a fraction of a second at Shanghai International Circuit.
“I think around one lap here there’s quite a few places,” he said. “One thousandth is like five centimetres maybe? So not so much.
“It’s a real shame he managed to beat me, but I think last time it was two thousandths and now it’s one thousandth, so that’s a shame.
“But again, the race is tomorrow,” he noted. “We’re starting as a team, first and third is a good place to start and the weather can be anything, really, tomorrow.
“Lewis was strong today, and Ferrari was strong. We were always expecting a close fight today on track.
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“I think it will the same case tomorrow.
Bottas was impressed that Mercedes hadn’t suffered from the loss of practice on Friday because of weather conditions.
“We’ve done a good job in the short amount of time in the practice, to get the car set up well,” he said. “It was enjoyable to drive. Let’s see what tomorrow brings.”
Qualifying was carried out in dry and bright conditions but the forecast for Sunday is for rain. However it’s hoped that the situation won’t be as bad as it was on Friday.
The FIA has agreed new measures with the local authorities to ensure the Chinese Grand Prix will go ahead.
GALLERY: All the pictures from Saturday in Shanghai
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