An ecstatic Lewis Hamilton says that he did not expect to achieve pole position so early into his Mercedes career.
Hamilton's time in China was three tenths quicker than nearest rival Kimi Raikkonen, ensuring that the 2008 world champion will start his third race for Merecdes from the front of the grid.
"Pole position is a great result for us today and to achieve it in my third race for the team is such a good feeling," he said.
"None of us expected this level of performance at this stage of the season and it's a real bonus. The guys have just been working away, pushing really hard, and I'm so pleased for everyone back at the factories and here at the track that I've been able to deliver my first pole in a Silver Arrow."
"It would be great to convert the position in the race tomorrow but it's going to be a challenge and we're realistic about how tough the race will be. The soft tyres don't last for very long, and with a couple of quick guys starting on the mediums, it'll be interesting to see how the race plays out. I'm looking forward to it and will give it my all."
Team principal Ross Brawn praised Hamilton but warned that the race will be difficult.
"However there are no points gained on a Saturday as they say and there is a tough job ahead of us tomorrow to convert our qualifying positions. It's going to be a fascinating race from a strategy and tyre perspective so we will wait and see how it plays out."