Rosberg ends Hamilton’s pole streak in Spain
Nico Rosberg claimed his first pole position of the season as he sent a message to his Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton with an impressive showing in qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix.
Rosberg managed to deny Hamilton from taking a fifth consecutive pole by posting a session best of 1:34.681, which proved to be 0.267s quicker than the reigning world champion.
“Of course I needed it (pole position) sooner rather than later,” said Rosberg.
“It is a step in the right direction to winning the race here this weekend it was a good day in the office.”
Mercedes once again proved to be in a class of their own with nearest rival Sebastian Vettel three quarters of a second adrift of the Silver Arrows in third for Ferrari.
“I think it is great that we can keep confirming that we are right behind them (Mercedes) but we would love to be a little bit closer,” said Vettel.
“I hope we can be a bit closer tomorrow.”
The Williams of Valtteri Bottas emerged in fourth while Toro Rosso issued a surprise as Carlos Sainz Jnr and Max Verstappen locked out the third row.
Kimi Raikkonen was unable to extract the full potential from his Ferrari with the Finn in seventh position.
The Red Bulls of Daniil Kvyat and Australia’s Daniel Ricciardo sandwiched Felipe Massa to complete the top 10.
Romain Grosjean narrowly missed the cut off to progress to the top 10 shootout and will start from 11th alongside his Lotus team-mate Pastor Maldonado.
McLaren continued to make small improvements but drivers Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button were well adrift of the Q3 cut off in 13th and 14th positions respectively.
However, the Woking squad has leapfrogged ahead of both Sauber and Force India squads.
It proved to be a grim day for Force India with both Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez due to start on the penultimate row of the grid after struggling for grip in Q1.
The pair joined Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson and the Manor Marussia duo of Will Stevens and Roberto Merhi in failing to progress from the opening part of qualifying.
Result: Spanish Grand Prix Qualifying, Barcelona
|5||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1:26.136s||+1.455s|
|6||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||1:26.249s||+1.568s|
|8||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1:26.629s||+1.948s|
|10||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1:26.770s||+2.089s|
|17||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1:28.365s||+3.684s|
|18||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1:28.442s||+3.761s|