Rosberg grabs Shanghai pole from Schumacher

Rosberg grabs Shanghai pole from Schumacher

14 April 2012 – Nico Rosberg has achieved his first Formula 1 pole position in China. The son of 1982 Champion Keke will start ahead of Mercedes team-mate Michael Schumacher, with Kamui Kobayashi and Kimi Räikkönen third and fourth for Sauber and Lotus. Lewis Hamilton, with his five-place drop applied, starts seventh. Missing Q3 for the first time since 2009, Sebastian Vettel could only manage 11th.

Vettel will start 11th

Continuing a dramatic start to the 2012 season, Rosberg’s pole comes on his 111th attempt after an F1 debut in 2006. The unexpected result also marks Mercedes’ first pole position since Juan Manuel Fangio claimed the top spot at Monza in 1955.

On a dry day at the Shanghai International Circuit, there were no major surprises in Q1. Toro Rosso newcomer Jean-Éric Vergne dropped out at the first hurdle for the second consecutive race, a worrying eight tenths of a second adrift of Daniel Ricciardo in the same car. The Frenchman will start 18th ahead of Caterham, Marussia and HRT.

The drama of Q2 was undoubtedly Vettel’s early exit from the session. The World Champion, who had been in the top ten shootout at every race since Abu Dhabi 2009, constantly checked with his team whether he had done enough but was knocked out when the Saubers performed strongly; incidentally, Vettel is running the original specification Red Bull exhaust, unlike team-mate Mark Webber who starts sixth.

Hamilton qualified second, but starts seventh on the grid with a gearbox penalty

Felipe Massa briefly sat in tenth place, but was also eliminated in Q2 and will share the sixth row with Vettel. Row 7 is all-Williams, with Maldonado leading Senna, as the grid symmetry continues with Force India’s Paul di Resta and Nico Hülkenberg. With Ricciardo 17th, Rows 7 to 12 of the grid are all filled with pairs of team-mates; and with the Mercedes duo at the front, seven of the 12 rows are all occupied by same-liveried cars.

Straight out of the box, Rosberg made his presence known immediately in Q3 by setting a very impressive lap time of 1:35.121. In fact, so confident that it would not be beaten, the 26-year-old had managed to climb out of his car and walk down the pit lane to be weighed long before his rivals crossed the finish line on their final runs. Hamilton could not better the Mercedes, with his penalty meaning he also cannot share the front row with his former karting team-mate.

Having amusingly stated ‘not bad’ about Rosberg’s effort over a team radio communication, Schumacher’s second position is his best starting place since returning to F1, at the same track on which he last won for Ferrari six years ago. Kobayashi’s third is a career-best result and continues Sauber’s highly impressive form of late, with Räikkönen promising much for Lotus. Jenson Button, a favourite for pole with many in the media centre, not only failed to capitalise on Hamilton’s penalty but will set off from only fifth place, ahead of Webber.

Rosberg claims pole on his 111th attempt

Sergio Pérez may have been unable to match Kobayashi, but is again locked together with Fernando Alonso after their thrilling scrap in Malaysia; the Ferrari driver and World Championship leader starts ninth but, by virtue of the team’s distinct lack of raw pace, had to use up more sets of tyres that he would have liked. Romain Grosjean narrowly moved into the shootout before aborting his final run and settling for tenth.

26 years after father Keke led McLaren team-mate Alain Prost in qualifying for the German Grand Prix, Nico Rosberg claims his first pole position ahead of seven-time title winner Michael Schumacher. His previous best, also for Mercedes, was second on the grid alongside Mark Webber for Malaysia 2010.


The 2012 Chinese Grand Prix begins at 3pm local time (BST +7) on Sunday and can also be followed through the interactive GPUpdate.net Live Report

related

Comments

Latest News
Full
Compact

  1. Tuesday 21 October 2014

  2. 16:03

    Book F1 tickets and join the action live!

    F1
  3. Silverstone senior executives suspended 13:55

    Silverstone senior executives suspended

    The British Racing Drivers' Club (BRDC) has taken "a closer role" in the day-to-day running of Silverstone following the...

    F1
  4. Caterham insists team not threatened 12:25

    Caterham insists team not threatened

    Caterham has dismissed media reports suggesting that Caterham Sports Limited (CSL) being placed into administration will...

    F1
  5. Lotus mourns death of Total chief 11:08

    Lotus mourns death of Total chief

    Lotus says it has been left "shocked" and "deeply saddened" by the death of Christophe de Margerie, Chairman and CEO of team...

    F1
  6. Spa to fight Nissan's use of Eau Rouge name 09:50

    Spa to fight Nissan's use of Eau Rouge name

    The Spa-Francorchamps circuit says it will contest an application from car manufacturer Nissan to trademark "Eau...

    F1
  7. Video: Miami welcomes Formula E 09:30

    Video: Miami welcomes Formula E

    Watch as the track layout for the Miami ePrix, scheduled to take place on March 14 next year, is revealed.

    Formula E
  8. Miami reveals Formula E circuit layout 09:22

    Miami reveals Formula E circuit layout

    Miami has become the latest Formula E host to reveal its track layout for the electric championship. Produced by track...

    Formula E
  9. Pons retains Tunjo for 2015 FR3.5 season 09:07

    Pons retains Tunjo for 2015 FR3.5 season

    Pons Racing has confirmed that Óscar Tunjo will remain with the team in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series next year. The...

    FR 3.5
  10. Video of the Day: Nasr samples FW08C 05:11

    Video of the Day: Nasr samples FW08C

    Williams reserve Felipe Nasr sampled Keke Rosberg's 1983 FW08C at the team's Partner Day at Silverstone.

    F1
  11. Monday 20 October 2014

  12. Brawn, Domenicali on new Accident Panel 17:54

    Brawn, Domenicali on new Accident Panel

    Former Formula 1 team bosses Ross Brawn and Stefano Domenicali have joined the FIA's new Accident Panel, which has been put...

    F1
  13. Moscow Raceway earns licence for F1 races 17:14

    Moscow Raceway earns licence for F1 races

    Moscow Raceway has been granted an FIA Grade 1 licence, allowing it to stage Formula 1 races. The track, located some...

    Misc
  14. Wolff confirmed for Race Of Champions 15:04

    Wolff confirmed for Race Of Champions

    Susie Wolff will become the first female driver to compete at the Race Of Champions after signing up for this year's event...

    F1
  15. De Vries gets FR3.5 seat with DAMS 14:43

    De Vries gets FR3.5 seat with DAMS

    McLaren junior Nyck de Vries will compete in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series with reigning champion team DAMS next...

    FR 3.5
  16. Lotus to trial new nose design at Austin 13:58

    Lotus to trial new nose design at Austin

    Lotus will test a new nose during practice for the United States Grand Prix, as the team looks to finalise its design for...

    F1
  17. Rossi says tyre choice crucial to victory 13:23

    Rossi says tyre choice crucial to victory

    Valentino Rossi says choosing the extra-soft Bridgestone front tyre was crucial to his second victory of the season at...

    MotoGP
  18. Force India retains Hülkenberg for 2015 10:08

    Force India retains Hülkenberg for 2015

    Force India has confirmed that Nico Hülkenberg will continue to race for the team next season. Hülkenberg, 27, returned t...

    F1
  19. Silverstone, Le Mans back on FR3.5 calendar 09:19

    Silverstone, Le Mans back on FR3.5 calendar

    The World Series by Renault package, which includes Formula Renault 3.5, will return to Silverstone and Le Mans next...

    FR 3.5
  20. Sainz Jr. elated by championship success 07:22

    Sainz Jr. elated by championship success

    Red Bull youngster Carlos Sainz Jr. hailed his "incredible" season after he succeeded Kevin Magnussen as Formula Renault 3.5...

    FR 3.5
  21. Video of the Day: Mercedes celebrates title 05:04

    Video of the Day: Mercedes celebrates title

    Mercedes celebrates its first Formula 1 Constructors' success at its bases in Brackley and Brixworth.

    F1
  22. Sunday 19 October 2014

  23. DTM champion Wittmann gets Toro Rosso test 20:39

    DTM champion Wittmann gets Toro Rosso test

    Marco Wittmann will receive a Formula 1 test with Toro Rosso as his reward from BMW for winning this year's DTM...

    DTM
  24. Verstappen ends F3 season in third place 17:11

    Verstappen ends F3 season in third place

    Future Toro Rosso driver Max Verstappen has finished his sole FIA Formula 3 European campaign in third place after losing...

    F1
  25. Kubica: Formula 1 return would be a dream 14:30

    Kubica: Formula 1 return would be a dream

    Robert Kubica says he has not yet given up on the prospect of returning to Formula 1 at some point in the future and will...

    F1
  26. 13:38

    Latest FR3.5 photos: Sunday at Jerez

    FR 3.5
  27. Dominant Rowland wins FR3.5 finale at Jerez 13:37

    Dominant Rowland wins FR3.5 finale at Jerez

    Oliver Rowland claimed victory in the final race of the Formula Renault 3.5 season as he controlled proceedings throughout...

    FR 3.5
  28. 09:20

    Latest MotoGP photos: Sunday at Phillip Island

    MotoGP
  29. Márquez 'not on the limit' before crash 09:19

    Márquez 'not on the limit' before crash

    World Champion Marc Márquez says he was not riding on the limit when he crashed out of the lead in the Australian Grand Prix...

    MotoGP
  30. Rossi wins incident-packed race in Australia 06:50

    Rossi wins incident-packed race in Australia

    Valentino Rossi claimed his second win of the year in an incident-packed Australian Grand Prix after World Champion Marc...

    MotoGP
  31. Video of the Day: Pedrosa on Phillip Island 03:00

    Video of the Day: Pedrosa on Phillip Island

    Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa chose his fondest Phillip Island memory ahead of Sunday's race at the track.

    MotoGP
  32. Saturday 18 October 2014

  33. 13:52

    Latest FR3.5 photos: Saturday at Jerez

    FR 3.5
  34. Stevens wins, Sainz Jr. clinches title 13:51

    Stevens wins, Sainz Jr. clinches title

    Carlos Sainz Jr. clinched the 2014 Formula Renault 3.5 championship at the very first corner of the final round in Jerez...

    FR 3.5
  35. Ecclestone: Las Vegas targeting Formula 1 race 09:32

    Ecclestone: Las Vegas targeting Formula 1 race

    Bernie Ecclestone says a Formula 1 race could be held on the streets of Las Vegas in the future. Ecclestone has long seen...

    F1
  36. 07:54

    Latest MotoGP photos: Saturday at Phillip Island

    MotoGP
  37. Márquez flies to pole position in Australia 06:21

    Márquez flies to pole position in Australia

    MotoGP World Champion Marc Márquez claimed pole position for the Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island ahead of Ducati...

    MotoGP
  38. Video of the Day: Bottas let loose in FW18 05:07

    Video of the Day: Bottas let loose in FW18

    Williams driver Valtteri Bottas was given the opportunity to drive the FW18, Damon Hill's World Championship-winning car...

    F1
  39. Friday 17 October 2014

  40. Button will only stay in F1 with 'competitive' car 16:13

    Button will only stay in F1 with 'competitive' car

    Jenson Button could move to endurance racing if he fails to land a competitive Formula 1 seat for 2015. Fernando Alonso,...

    F1
  41. Andretti: Vettel can return Ferrari to the front 16:03

    Andretti: Vettel can return Ferrari to the front

    Former F1 World Champion Mario Andretti believes that Sebastian Vettel has what it takes to galvanise Ferrari and end the...

    F1
  42. Status GP takes over Caterham GP2 team 14:23

    Status GP takes over Caterham GP2 team

    Status Grand Prix has acquired the Caterham GP2 outfit from ex-F1 team boss Tony Fernandes. The squad will continue to...

    GP2
  43. Pirelli changes Brazil tyre nomination 12:15

    Pirelli changes Brazil tyre nomination

    Pirelli has altered its tyre nomination for next month's Brazilian Grand Prix, amid fears over safety. After initially...

    F1
  44. Fong, Nissany to test Sauber F1 car 11:36

    Fong, Nissany to test Sauber F1 car

    Adderly Fong and Roy Nissany will test a two-year-old Sauber Formula 1 car in Valencia next week. The team has set aside...

    F1
  45. Video: Räikkönen clinches 2007 title 11:32

    Video: Räikkönen clinches 2007 title

    Kimi Räikkönen celebrates his 35th birthday on Friday. To mark the occasion, look back at the moment the Finn clinched the 2...

    F1
more news