Verstappen rockets to China Grand Prix podium

Lewis Hamilton celebrates claiming pole position in Shanghai for the 2017 Chinese Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton celebrates claiming pole position in Shanghai for the 2017 Chinese Grand Prix

After a severely disrupted first practice session at the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai on Friday, things went downhill in FP2 as no team was able to take to the track even once over the course of the 90-minute long second practice session.

Foggier conditions in the city meant the medical helicopter would have been unable to land at the designated hospital, 38km from the circuit, a spokesperson from the sport's governing International Automobile Federation (FIA) said.

Rain and smog played spoilsport on Friday as the second practice session of theFormula One Chinese Grand Prix had to be called off due to low visibility.

But with similar conditions forecast for Saturday, the fear is that those sessions may similarly be afflicted.

Verstappen led the way in that curtailed P1 ahead of Williams duo Felipe Massa and Lance Stroll. Most got going again but Nico Hulkenberg beached his Renault in the gravel, returning to the pits on the back of a scooter.

"I understand the reasons behind not running, the weather simply meant the helicopter couldn't fly and that is integral to our safety in the case of an accident".

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"Personally, I'm happy with what I was able to get out of the auto this afternoon, but obviously as a team and as a driver we want more", said Ricciardo, his sights clearly set on closing down the gap to the pace setters.

Meanwhile, three-time world champion Lewis Hamilton and Melbourne victor Sebastian Vettel were among those not to run in the race.

Hamilton crossed the track to the grandstands to wave at his cheering fans before throwing signed merchandise up to them.

The teams finally got to use Pirelli's slick tyres today, with Lewis Hamilton claiming pole on P Zero Red supersoft: topping qualifying after Michael Schumacher's all-time lap record from 2004 was already beaten in Q2.

"It's not good for the fans watching on TV and even worse for all those people in the stands, who have paid money to come out here from the city or even from other countries".