SHANGHAI, April 13 (UPI) -- Lewis Hamilton
claimed the pole position in the Chinese Grand Prix Saturday, steering his Mercedes around the Shanghai track in 1 minute, 34.484 seconds.
Hamilton's first pole performance as part of the Mercedes team was completed a scant 0.28 seconds ahead of Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen.
"The lap was great. The team performed well all weekend so far, and I hope that we can carry that into tomorrow," said Hamilton, who jumped from McLaren to Mercedes during the off-season as a replacement for Michael Schumacher, who retired from Formula One.
Fernando Alonso of Ferrari took the No. 3 position and Hamilton's teammate, Nico Rosberg, the defending Chinese Grand Prix champion, took fourth.
The Red Bull duo of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber both experienced trouble with their cars Saturday and fell back in the pack.
The Chinese Grand Prix takes place Sunday on the 3.386-mile Shanghai International Circuit.
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