Nico Rosberg takes maiden Formula 1 pole position

Nico Rosberg

Nico Rosberg

Nico Rosberg has taken the first pole position of his 110 race Formula 1 career in qualifying for the Chinese Grand Prix

The German used his ‘double DRS’ equipped Mercedes to tremendous effect, putting down a 1:35.12s on his first flying lap of the Q3 session.

With the time a full 0.5s clear of next-best Lewis Hamilton, Rosberg chose not to complete a second run in order to save a set of soft tyres for tomorrow’s race.

Hamilton did make a second attempt but aborted it part-way through, and will start seventh thanks to a five-place grid penalty awarded due to a pre-event gearbox change.

The penalty leaves Michael Schumacher to join his team-mate on the front-row, with Kamui Kobayashi, Kimi Raikkonen, Jenson Button and Mark Webber rounding out the top six.

Sepang star Sergio Perez will share the fourth row with Hamilton, while Fernando Alonso and Romain Grosjean – who aborted his one and only Q3 attempt – complete the 10.

Sebastian Vettel will start 11th after failing to improve on his final lap in Q2. The result marks the first time since the 2009 Brazilian Grand Prix that the two-time and reigning World Champion has failed to make Q3.

Vettel has elected to use an earlier incarnation of Red Bull’s 2012 exhaust package this weekend, while team-mate Webber continues with the newer system.

Australian Daniel Ricciardo will line-up 17th, one place ahead of his Toro Rosso team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne, who could not progress from Q1 for the second race in succession.

All 24 drivers will start the Chinese Grand Prix, with both HRT entries once again making the 107% cut-off.

See below for the full qualifying result







1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:36.875 1:35.725 1:35.121
2 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:36.763 1:35.902 1:35.626
3 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1:36.797 1:35.794 1:35.691
4 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1:36.863 1:35.853 1:35.784
5 Kimi Räikkönen Lotus-Renault 1:36.850 1:35.921 1:35.898
6 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:36.746 1:35.942 1:36.191
7 Mark Webber Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:36.682 1:35.700 1:36.290
8 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1:36.198 1:35.831 1:36.524
9 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:36.292 1:35.982 1:36.622
10 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1:36.343 1:35.903  
11 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:36.911 1:36.031  
12 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:36.556 1:36.255  
13 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1:36.528 1:36.283  
14 Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 1:36.674 1:36.289  
15 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1:36.639 1:36.317  
16 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1:36.921 1:36.745  
17 Daniel Ricciardo STR-Ferrari 1:36.933 1:36.956  
18 Jean-Eric Vergne STR-Ferrari 1:37.714    
19 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1:38.463    
20 Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1:38.677    
21 Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1:39.282    
22 Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1:39.717    
23 Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 1:40.411    
24 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1:41.000    

See below for’s Chinese Grand Prix Race Guide

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