Mercedes bosses thrilled with front row lock-out
14 April 2012 – Mercedes’ confidence in Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher paid off on Saturday, as the German duo stormed to front row grid positions for the Chinese Grand Prix. The former sealed a career-first Formula 1 pole position on his 111th attempt, whereas the latter sealed his best grid position since returning to the sport.
“It was an exceptional qualifying session for us and I am very pleased with the way the whole team worked to achieve it,” said Team Principal Ross Brawn. “Congratulations to both drivers, but especially Nico on a stunning lap which earned him his first pole position. It is a great boost for everyone and gives lots of encouragement to the team here at the track, in Brackley and Brixworth.
“We hope it will prove to be a step on the way to achieving our ambitions; however, we know it is only a small step and that what really counts is the race. That's what we have been working on, to start delivering similar levels of performance on Sunday afternoon.”
Norbert Haug, Vice President for Mercedes-Benz Motorsport, was also unable to hide his emotions upon receiving a number of congratulatory greetings in the paddock.
“A silver arrows front row last happened at Monza in 1955; now, after two years in the modern era of the silver arrows works team, we have achieved our first one-two on the grid. Although we are in the best possible positions today, we certainly do not think that we are already winners tomorrow. So far, our long runs on high fuel and our tyre usage didn't look bad according to Pirelli, so we all will do our best for tomorrow. Hats off to Nico again - this was a great lap, my friend, which you will remember for a very long time.”
Lewis Hamilton did qualify second for Mercedes-Mercedes, but drops back to seventh on the grid after taking a five-place grid penalty for an earlier gearbox change.