2012 CHINESE GP: INCREDIBLE ROSBERG WINS POLE

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