Rosberg secures back-to-back Mercedes F1 poles
Nico Rosberg has scored Mercedes GP’s second Formula 1 pole position in a week after a surprising performance in qualifying for Sunday’s Bahrain Grand Prix.
Having flown under the radar in the free practice sessions, a 1:32.3s lap put down by the German early in Q3 proved unbeatable over the final minutes.
Sebastian Vettel drew closest, falling 0.35s short of his countryman to ensure a second place starting slot.
Fernando Alonso ended the session third despite abandoning his second Q3 run after a scrappy lap.
Lewis Hamilton, Mark Webber, Felipe Massa (who set his time on the prime tyre), Paul di Resta, Adrian Sutil, Kimi Raikkonen and Jenson Button completed the Q3 order.
Hamilton will start just ninth however due to a five-place gearbox change penalty, while Webber drops to seventh thanks to his three-place penalty carrying over from an incident with Jean-Eric Vergne in China.
Button elected not to do a time in Q3 in order to ensure a free choice of starting tyres for Sunday, having earlier shown elation at simply progressing through Q2.
Romain Grosjean was bumped out of Q3 in the final moments of the second segment having only completed one run.
Australian Daniel Ricciardo was also out after Q2 in 13th, but could at least take solace from out-qualifying team-mate Vergne.
Joining Hamilton and Webber with grid penalities is Esteban Gutierrez, who’ll start last when the five-place punishment for clanging into Adrian Sutil in China is applied.
The Mexican’s demise will be to the further benefit of Charles Pic, who put his Caterham ahead of both Marussias for the first time all season in Q1.
See below for the official qualifying result, prior to the application of the grid penalties
|2||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1:33.327||1:32.746||1:32.584|
|5||Mark Webber||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1:33.966||1:33.098||1:33.078|
|7||Paul di Resta||Force India-Mercedes||1:33.762||1:33.335||1:33.235|
|8||Adrian Sutil||Force India-Mercedes||1:34.048||1:33.378||1:33.246|
|21||Giedo van der Garde||Caterham-Renault||1:36.304|