Formula One: Defending champion Hamilton takes pole hat-trick in China

SHANGHAI (REUTERS) - Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton edged out team-mate Nico Rosberg for pole position, as Mercedes locked down the front row of the grid for the Chinese Grand Prix on Saturday.

The Briton lapped the 5.451km Shanghai International Circuit in 1min 35.782sec to claim his third pole in as many races this season and third in a row in China, where he has won three times including last year.

Rosberg clocked 1:35.824 to finish ahead of Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, winner of the previous race in Malaysia, and Felipe Massa of Williams, who will complete the second row alongside the German.

Rest of the grid positions: 5 Valtteri Bottas (Fin) Williams. 6 Kimi Raikkonen (Fin) Ferrari. 7 Daniel Ricciardo (Aus) Red Bull. 8 Romain Grosjean (Fra) Lotus. 9 Felipe Nasr (Bra) Sauber. 10 Marcus Ericsson (Swe) Sauber. 11 Pastor Maldonado (Ven) Lotus. 12 Daniil Kvyat (Rus) Red Bull. 13 Max Verstappen (Ned) Toro Rosso. 14 Carlos Sainz Jr (Esp) Toro Rosso. 15 Sergio Perez (Mex) Force India. 16 Nico Huelkenberg (Ger) Force India. 17 Jenson Button (Gbr) McLaren. 18 Fernando Alonso (Esp) McLaren. 19 Will Stevens (Gbr) Marussia. 20 Roberto Merhi (Esp) Marussia.