History was made in Shanghai as Rosberg put on a perfect lap to claim his first pole in F1. Twenty years since his dad attained world champion status – he marched on to pole ahead of his former karting mate Lewis Hamilton.
The drama was right on from Q1 as conditions shifted from 25 to 22 deg Celsius on track leaving drivers to struggle in cooler conditions.
In Q3, both Mercs, Kimi and Hamilton were out on track to set fastest times. Rosberg was so confident that he made only a single run and went back to garage.
Michael was surprised with his gap to his younger team-mate. Rosberg was half a second ahead of rest of the drivers which was pretty stunning.
He believes cooler condition on Sunday’s race would help him to get the better of others. Schumacher’s P2 in Shanghai was the best performance for him since his return where he won his final race in 2006.
Lewis Hamilton set the second best time ahead of Schumacher as his five place grid penalty meant that Mercedes lock out the front row for first time since the great Juan Manuel Fangio led the race at Monza in 1955(their last year of racing before making comeback in 2010).
Career best grid position for Kamui Kobayashi in his improving Sauber, he lines up on P3 ahead impressive Kimi Raikkonen who obviously disappointed with his Q3 run.
Button, most expected driver to take pole, couldn’t get heat on to his front tyres, qualified only in P5. Webber could be a major threat in his Redbull at P6 as he out qualified his team mate yet again.
Sergio Perez was equally impressive as his team-mate; unable to gain more performance as Kamui he sits in at P8 behind Hamilton.
Alonso’s recalcitrant Ferrari put him at P9 ahead of the remaining Lotus of Grosjean. Both drivers conserved a set of Pirellis; having opted to stay in the garage for Q3.
Surprise of them all was Vettel’s exit from Q2 for first time since 2009. He fell victim to a evenly packed cars ahead of him. His fastest time was just three tenths behind his team-mate who set the session’s best time.
Beleaguered Massa starts from P12 as he failed in his attempts having resided in P10 for so long. Jean Eric Vergne dropped from the first hurdle for the second consecutive time – lagging behind Ricciardo at P18.
Pairs of team-mates lines up from P13 to P18. Force India couldn’t capitalise on their fine form as they lost grip to Williams ahead of them.
Kovaleinen was the best of the bottom three teams; Petrov was just one thousandth behind him. Glock and De la Rosa got the better of their team mates at P21 and P23 respectively.
Weather could play a big role in tomorrow’s race. Rosberg’s tyre wear is a major issue if he can make a good start.
2012 Chinese Grand Prix : Qualifying Report
|2||4||Lewis Hamilton||Vodafone McLaren-Mercedes||1:36.763||1:35.902||1:35.626||14|
|6||3||Jenson Button||Vodafone McLaren-Mercedes||1:36.746||1:35.942||1:36.191||16|
|7||2||Mark Webber||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1:36.682||1:35.700||1:36.290||14|
|11||1||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1:36.911||1:36.031||11|
|15||11||Paul di Resta||Force India-Mercedes||1:36.639||1:36.317||14|
|16||12||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India-Mercedes||1:36.921||1:36.745||14|
|23||22||Pedro de la Rosa||HRT-Cosworth||1:40.411||7|
|Q1 107% Time||1:42.931|