"Thank you guys, great qualifying, great vehicle", said Vettel, who also started from pole in Bahrain last weekend, over the team radio. The lap was incredible, it just kept getting better. So I was a bit beaten up. That should help Mercedes, which struggled to get its tyres up to temperature over one lap, but also means the extent to which the tyres degrade is something of unknown.
Since Hamilton took pole position for the season-opener in Australia, Ferrari have held a clear single-lap pace advantage over the world champions. "On paper, this track is easier for overtaking than Bahrain, so hopefully tomorrow we can make up for what we lost today", he said.
"It's good news", he continued.
"Obviously we're both lucky, but that's how it goes".
"Between practice this morning and qualifying we didn't do anything".
"I still believe we are the best team with the potential to win races and fight for this world championship". "It is a track where you just need to get in and find that sweet spot". It probably would have been the best idea, but unfortunately it happened.
"I had the older tyre on and I was running out of it". We had a tailwind down the straight the whole race.
The safety auto was triggered on lap 30 by a coming together of Torro Rossa drivers Brendan Hartley and Pierre Gasly, who tangled when Gasly had a go at his team-mate into the hairpin, the resultant contact leaving debris strewn across the track.
In a typically boisterous bid for the podium, the Dutchman saw gaps where there were none, and wiped out Vettel at the hairpin on the 43rd lap.
The 2018 Chinese Grand Prix starts at 2:10pm CST on Sunday April 15 in Shanghai.
"I've seen the forecast, but you never know", Vettel said. "It was really nice".
"The amusing thing about being outperformed on Saturday is that you are the lion that is just waiting to jump on its prey", he added. Vettel said Sunday's outcome was very much up in the air. I don't think so. We didn't expect to be so strong compared to our competition.
Raikkonen locked out the front row for Ferrari for the second time in succession.
Sergey Sirotkin missed out on the first Q2 appearance of his career by 0.049s and will start 16th on the grid after setting a time 0.039s faster than Toro Rosso's Pierre Gasly, who will start 17th in China after finishing the Bahrain Grand Prix fourth two weeks ago.