Rosberg claims his first ever pole position
© Mercedes AMG F1 Team
|14 April 2012 by Ryan Wood||Tweet
Nico Rosberg will start in pole position for the Chinese Grand Prix after dominating the final part of qualifying to take his first ever pole.
The German's time, a 1:35.121, was over half a second quicker than Lewis Hamilton in second, but the McLaren driver will start P7 after taking a five-place grid penalty for changing his gearbox.
Rosberg's pole is Mercedes first since Juan Manuel Fangio, driving a W196, took pole in Monza in 1955.
Michael Schumacher will start alongside his team-mate to give Mercedes a 1-2, with the seven-time world champion gaining P2 thanks to Hamilton's penalty.
Kamui Kobayashi responded to his team-mates good form by popping up in fourth ahead of Kimi Raikkonen, Jenson Button, Mark Webber and Sergio Perez in eighth.
Sebastian Vettel was the surprise loss in Q2. The current world champion failed to make it through to the final session - his decision to revert to the pre-season spec exhausts clearly not paying off.
Pastor Maldonado, 13th, will be investigated after qualifying after he was deemed to have blocked Heikki Kovalainen during the first part of the session.
2012 Chinese GP Qualifying Results: (* = penalty)
|Pos||Driver||Team||Q1 Time||Q2 Time||Q3 Time|
|11.||S. Vettel||Red Bull||1:36.911||1:36.031|
|07.||M. Webber||Red Bull||1:36.682||1:35.700||1:36.290|
|16.||N. Hulkenberg||Force India||1:36.921||1:36.745|
|10.||R. Grosjean||Lotus||1:36.343||1:35.903||No Time|
|18.||J. Vergne||Toro Rosso||1:37.714|
|15.||P. di Resta||Force India||1:36.639||1:36.317|
|23.||P. de la Rosa||HRT||1:40.411|
|17.||D. Ricciardo||Toro Rosso||1:36.933||1:36.956|
|Q1 107% Time:||1:42.931|