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. Sunday 21 January 2018

  2. Hughes back in GP3 with dominant ART team 12:52

    Hughes back in GP3 with dominant ART team

    Jake Hughes will return to the GP3 Series this year after signing a deal to compete for the championship's dominant force ART…

    GP3
  3. Video: Rallye Monte-Carlo 2018 preview 09:46

    Video: Rallye Monte-Carlo 2018 preview

    Next weekend marks the start of the 2018 World Rally Championship with the iconic Rallye Monte-Carlo; get set for the…

    Misc
  4. Saturday 20 January 2018

  5. New York becomes FE finale after Montreal axe 10:44

    New York becomes FE finale after Montreal axe

    New York will host the final round of this year's Formula E championship after series organisers opted not to replace the…

    FE
  6. Video: Force India's farewell to VJM10 09:19

    Video: Force India's farewell to VJM10

    Watch as Force India puts Sergio Pérez's VJM10, used throughout the course of the 2017 season, into retirement, with the car…

    F1
  7. Friday 19 January 2018

  8. 15:02

    Overview: 2018 Formula 1 grid line-up in full

    F1
  9. Pirelli: F1 unlikely to return to tyre competition 13:24

    Pirelli: F1 unlikely to return to tyre competition

    Pirelli Racing Manager Mario Isola says he doubts that Formula 1 will ever return to competition between two tyre manufacturers…

    F1
  10. Video: Verstappen and Ricciardo in Crazy Carts 11:19

    Video: Verstappen and Ricciardo in Crazy Carts

    Red Bull pair Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo are going a little stir crazy waiting for Formula 1 to return - and take to…

    F1
  11. Thursday 18 January 2018

  12. Video: Kubica on Williams reserve role 12:14

    Video: Kubica on Williams reserve role

    Robert Kubica talks about joining the Williams team and what his reserve and development driver role will involve through the…

    F1
  13. Russell steps up to Formula 2 with ART 09:27

    Russell steps up to Formula 2 with ART

    Mercedes-backed GP3 champion George Russell will graduate to Formula 2 with ART in 2018. Russell, 19, stormed to last year's…

    F2
  14. Folger to miss MotoGP season through illness 09:07

    Folger to miss MotoGP season through illness

    Tech 3 Yamaha rider Jonas Folger will sit out the 2018 MotoGP season, having struggled to recover physically and mentally after…

    MotoGP
  15. Video: Marrakesh's most dramatic moments 07:02

    Video: Marrakesh's most dramatic moments

    Watch every crash, spin, slide and save from last weekend's Marrakesh round of the all-electric Formula E championship.

    FE
  16. Wednesday 17 January 2018

  17. Chaves unconcerned by one-car Harding entry 16:32

    Chaves unconcerned by one-car Harding entry

    Gabby Chaves has played down suggestions that Harding's one-car effort could prove to be disadvantageous, pointing to the…

    Indy
  18. Video: Jenson Button vlog: From LA to Tokyo 13:48

    Video: Jenson Button vlog: From LA to Tokyo

    Catch up with Jenson Button in his latest vlog entry as he jets from Los Angeles to Tokyo for the launch of Honda's Super GT…

    Misc
  19. Kari stays in GP3, switches to MP Motorsport 10:06

    Kari stays in GP3, switches to MP Motorsport

    Niko Kari will continue in the GP3 Series this year, having switched from Arden to category newcomers MP Motorsport. Formula…

    GP3
  20. Tuesday 16 January 2018

  21. Fenestraz joins Carlin for Formula 3 campaign 13:54

    Fenestraz joins Carlin for Formula 3 campaign

    Formula Renault champion Sacha Fenestraz will contest this year's European Formula 3 Championship with Carlin. Fenestraz…

    F3
  22. Kubica gets development role with Williams 11:32

    Kubica gets development role with Williams

    Robert Kubica has landed a role as Williams' reserve and development driver for 2018, which will involve test and practice runs…

    F1
  23. Williams confirms Sirotkin for 2018 seat 11:18

    Williams confirms Sirotkin for 2018 seat

    Williams has announced that Sergey Sirotkin will partner Lance Stroll for the 2018 campaign, with Robert Kubica, on the comeback…

    F1
  24. Video: Rosberg's Twitter Q&A with fans 08:42

    Video: Rosberg's Twitter Q&A with fans

    2016 Formula 1 World Champion Nico Rosberg responds to a variety of questions posed by fans on Twitter.

    F1
  25. Monday 15 January 2018

  26. Aitken secures Formula 2 step with ART GP 18:30

    Aitken secures Formula 2 step with ART GP

    Renault junior driver Jack Aitken will graduate to Formula 2 with ART Grand Prix this season, the French team has…

    F2
  27. Bird feared Marrakesh retirement amid issues 15:10

    Bird feared Marrakesh retirement amid issues

    DS Virgin Racing's Sam Bird feared mechanical gremlins would force him out of the Marrakesh ePrix, as he collected a podium…

    FE
  28. Ducati launches its 2018 programme, livery 11:52

    Ducati launches its 2018 programme, livery

    Ducati has become the first team to launch its 2018 MotoGP programme, taking the wraps off its Desmosedici GP at its Bologna…

    MotoGP
  29. Ticktum heads 2018 Red Bull junior line-up 10:16

    Ticktum heads 2018 Red Bull junior line-up

    Red Bull has announced its junior programme line-up for 2018, with Macau Grand Prix victor Dan Ticktum leading the six-driver…

    F1
  30. Racing legend and pioneer Gurney passes away 09:08

    Racing legend and pioneer Gurney passes away

    American racing legend Dan Gurney has passed away aged 86, his family has announced, due to complications arising from…

    F1
  31. Video: Formula E drivers react to Marrakesh 09:02

    Video: Formula E drivers react to Marrakesh

    Formula E drivers offer their three-word reaction to the Marrakesh ePrix, after varying fortunes up and down the grid at the…

    FE
  32. Sunday 14 January 2018

  33. Audi's Müller tops Formula E's rookie test 18:20

    Audi's Müller tops Formula E's rookie test

    Audi's Nico Müller clocked record pace as he comfortably topped Formula E's one-day rookie test in Morocco. Formula E…

    FE
  34. Buemi: Fanboost issue contributed to defeat 15:56

    Buemi: Fanboost issue contributed to defeat

    Sébastien Buemi pinpointed an issue with Fanboost as a contributing factor to his defeat at the Marrakesh ePrix. Buemi…

    FE
  35. Rosenqvist hails Mahindra, plays down title lead 13:08

    Rosenqvist hails Mahindra, plays down title lead

    Mahindra's Felix Rosenqvist praised his squad for a pre-race battery change at the Marrakesh ePrix, which he went on to win, and…

    FE
  36. Video: Marrakesh E-Prix race highlights 07:47

    Video: Marrakesh E-Prix race highlights

    Watch race highlights from the Marrakesh E-Prix, the third round of the 2017/18 Formula E championship.

    FE
  37. Saturday 13 January 2018

  38. Rosenqvist overhauls Buemi for Marrakesh win 17:03

    Rosenqvist overhauls Buemi for Marrakesh win

    Mahindra's Felix Rosenqvist made it back-to-back victories as he overhauled long-time race leader Sébastien Buemi to triumph at…

    FE
  39. Harding confirms Chaves for full 2018 season 14:06

    Harding confirms Chaves for full 2018 season

    Gabby Chaves will return to the IndyCar grid full-time in 2018 after completing a deal to drive for Harding Racing. Harding…

    Indy
  40. Video: Marrakesh E-Prix qualifying highlights 13:38

    Video: Marrakesh E-Prix qualifying highlights

    Watch highlights from qualifying for the third round of the 2017/18 Formula E championship in Marrakesh

    FE
  41. Fukuzumi gets Arden F2 and Mugen SF seats 11:58

    Fukuzumi gets Arden F2 and Mugen SF seats

    Nirei Fukuzumi will embark on a dual campaign in Formula 2 with Arden International and in Super Formula with Team Mugen in…

    F2
  42. Video: Formula E drivers preview Marrakesh 10:18

    Video: Formula E drivers preview Marrakesh

    Nick Heidfeld, Sebastien Buemi, Nelson Piquet Jr. and Felix Rosenqvist preview the third round of the Formula E championship…

    FE
  43. Puig appointed Repsol Honda Team Manager 09:42

    Puig appointed Repsol Honda Team Manager

    Repsol Honda has appointed Alberto Puig as its new Team Manager, following the resignation of Livio Suppo. Suppo announced…

    MotoGP
  44. Video: Marrakesh ePrix virtual lap with Lynn 08:44

    Video: Marrakesh ePrix virtual lap with Lynn

    Ride onboard with DS Virgin Racing's Alex Lynn for a virtual lap of the Marrakesh Street Circuit, ahead of Saturday's third…

    FE
  45. Friday 12 January 2018

  46. Brown expects 'substantial' gains with Renault 11:02

    Brown expects 'substantial' gains with Renault

    McLaren chief Zak Brown says the operation can expect a "substantial difference" in performance this season amid its alliance…

    F1
  47. Airbags compulsory in MotoGP from 2018 10:32

    Airbags compulsory in MotoGP from 2018

    Riders' race suits, across all classes within the MotoGP World Championship, must be fitted with airbag systems from the 2018…

    MotoGP
  48. Zhou stays with Prema for third F3 season 09:00

    Zhou stays with Prema for third F3 season

    Ferrari-backed Guanyu Zhou will continue with Prema in the European Formula 3 championship in 2018, marking his third season in…

    F3
  49. Video: What inspires Bottas' helmet designs? 07:12

    Video: What inspires Bottas' helmet designs?

    Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas talks about what he looks for in a helmet design after asking fans to design his lid for the…

    F1
  50. Thursday 11 January 2018

  51. Pirelli reveals compounds for Azerbaijan GP 16:09

    Pirelli reveals compounds for Azerbaijan GP

    Formula 1 tyre supplier Pirelli has revealed its compound selections for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. Pirelli will expand its…

    F1
more news