After 111 race Nico scored his maiden Pole!!!Nico Rosberg claimed a maiden Formula 1 pole position for himself and the current version of the Mercedes team with a commanding performance in Chinese Grand Prix qualifying at Shanghai. The German was a full half a second quicker than second-fastest Lewis Hamilton, as predictions of a spectacular Mercedes qualifying performance came true. Michael Schumacher will make it an all-Mercedes front row having qualified third fastest, for Hamilton's gearbox change penalty will drop his McLaren to seventh.
Kamui Kobayashi was equally impressive as he was fourth quickest for Sauber, jumping on to the second row with one late run. He too benefits from Hamilton's penalty and will start third alongside Kimi Raikkonen. Row three will be made up of Jenson Button and Mark Webber as Button struggled to get heat in to his front tyres in the cooler conditions of Q3. Hamilton will start seventh alongside Sergio Perez as both Sauber's made it through to the top ten, while Fernando Alonso is ninth and Romain Grosjean tenth after not setting a lap time.
The obvious surprise in Q2 was the elimination of Vettel, who was the victim of an extremely competitive session. Felipe Massa was 12th and only half a second off the leading pace in the second session, and from there back it's two-by-two as the Williams, Force India's and Toro Rosso's line up side-by-side. Jean-Eric Vergne was the man to drop out in Q1 for the second time in three races this season. Vergne was 0.8s slower than his team-mate, but ahead of the Caterham pair by at least 0.7s. Then came the usual suspects on the final two rows; Marussia and HRT. Timo Glock outqualified Charles Pic comfortably, while Pedro de la Rosa easily got the better of Narain Karthikeyan on the back row.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap 1. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:35.121 2. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:35.626 + 0.505 3. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1:35.691 + 0.570 4. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1:35.784 + 0.663 5. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1:35.898 + 0.777 6. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:36.191 + 1.070 7. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1:36.290 + 1.169 8. Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1:36.524 + 1.403 9. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:36.622 + 1.501 10. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault No time Q2 Fastest time: M.Webber 1:35.700 Gap 11. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1:36.031 + 0.331 12. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:36.255 + 0.555 13. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1:36.283 + 0.583 14. Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 1:36.289 + 0.589 15. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1:36.317 + 0.617 16. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1:36.745 + 1.045 17. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:36.956 + 1.256 Q1 Fastest time: S.Perez 1:36.198 Gap 18. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:37.714 + 1.516 19. Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1:38.463 + 2.265 20. Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1:38.677 + 2.479 21. Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1:39.282 + 3.084 22. Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1:39.717 + 3.519 23. Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 1:40.411 + 4.213 24. Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1:41.000 + 4.802 107% time: 1:42.931