Rosberg claims first pole position with stunning lap

2012 Chinese Grand Prix qualifying

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Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg, Michael Schumacher, Shanghai, 2012Nico Rosberg made history by claiming his first pole position in qualifying for the Chinese Grand Prix.

He put Mercedes at the front of the grid for the first time since Juan Manuel Fangio led the field at Monza in 1955.

Michael Schumacher will start alongside him – he qualified third but second-placed Lewis Hamilton will take a five-place penalty.


Mark Webber was the quickest of the runners on the medium tyre in the first part of qualifying, ahead of the McLarens of Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton.

But many drivers found significant lap time improvement on the soft tyre – so much so that Button left the pits on a set in case his place in Q2 came under thread.

Sergio Perez ended the session fastest ahead of Fernando Alonso and Romain Grosjean, all on softs.

As in Malaysia, it was Jean-Eric Vergne who missed the cut for Q2. Both Toro Rosso drivers struggled to improve at the end of the session. “The start of the first lap’s good,” Daniel Ricciardo told his engineer, “but by the end of the first lap the traction is already becoming poor.”

Vergne was joined as usual by the Caterham, Marussia and HRT drivers.

Drivers eliminated in Q1

18 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’37.714
19 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1’38.463
20 Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1’38.677
21 Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1’39.282
22 Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1’39.717
23 Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 1’40.411
24 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1’41.000


Last year in China the shock result of qualifying was Webber’s elimination in Q1. This time it was Vettel’s turn to be knocked out early as he failed to progress beyond Q2.

It began with a strong effort by Fernando Alonso to get the Ferrari into Q3. His 1’35.982 sneaked him ahead of, among others, Vettel.

Most drivers did two runs during the session including both Red Bulls. But while Webber set the fastest time of the session with a 1’35.700, Vettel was 0.331s slower than his team mate.

Incredibly, that slender gap was the different between being fastest and, in Vettel’s case, not making it into the final ten.

He was eliminated along with Felipe Massa, the Williams and Force India drivers, and Daniel Ricciardo.

Romain Grosjean had to abort his first effort in Q2 after a mistake at turn 12. He recovered with a final effort to join his team mate in Q3.

Drivers eliminated in Q2

11 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’36.031
12 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’36.225
13 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1’36.283
14 Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 1’36.289
15 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1’36.317
16 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1’36.745
17 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’36.956


The Mercedes duo plus Raikkonen and Hamilton were the first drivers on the track – and Rosberg set a stunning pace. A lap of 1’35.121 put him at the top of the times – and after that he got out of the car and didn’t make another attempt.

Back on track Hamilton and Schumacher tried to find the half-second between them and Rosberg but neither of them could get any closer.

Kamui Kobayashi showed Sauber had made progress with their one-lap pace by claiming fourth – which will become third after Hamilton’s penalty is applied.

The McLaren driver will fall to seventh behind Raikkonen, Button and Webber.

Several drivers struggled to improve as the temperature fell during the final session, and most posted slower laps or aborted their final runs.

Perez, Alonso and Grosjean complete the top ten – the latter choosing not to set a time.

Top ten in Q3

1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’35.121
2 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’35.626
3 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’35.691
4 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’35.784
5 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1’35.899
6 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’36.191
7 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’36.290
8 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1’36.524
9 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’36.622
10 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault

2012 Chinese Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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160 comments on “Rosberg claims first pole position with stunning lap”

  1. How long before the Top 4 get DRS-ed?

    If we didn’t have DRS I’d be really excited about the race with the grid we’ve got, However you just know that as soon as DRS gets activated the guys at the front are going to fall backwards.

    1. Red Bulll need it by the looks of it…

    2. Makes me wish for full time DRS and I NEVER thought I would ever say that!

    3. Cluffy_Wedge
      14th April 2012, 9:44

      The zone is shorter than last year is it not? Besides, without DRS Merc wouldn’t even be on pole. Probably.

    4. how come there isn’t much discussion about KOB’s brilliant 3rd place start? i think that news is on par with ROS’s first pole and VET mishaps.

      1. The sauber looks as though they have taken another step forward. Great result for Kob

    5. Not necessarily, the Mercs at least are geared for high top speed. RBR especially usually hits rev limiter, and that will make DRS less effective. Even McLaren might struggle to get past them on the straights in the early stages.

      The fall-apart Pirellis on the other hand..

      1. I was surprised in the onboard from Rosberg’s lap that the FOM graphic said the top speed was 313 km/h, compared to 320.7 km/h in practice. At each intermediate check Rosberg was fastest. A bit more wing angle?

        1. To keep their tyres alive? They might be in a better position than they want everyone else to know…

          1. Could also be in case it rains

    6. I wouldn’t be so hasty to worry about DRS. The W03 is easily the fastest car in a straight line with the Sauber not far behind. Red Bull are slow in a straight line and even with DRS I doubt they will be able to punch through both McLaren and Mercedes.

    7. I’m excited either way, this is the best start to a season we’ve had in a really long time. There are 5 teams capable of winning races with a pretty high mix of performance from quali to the race which promotes a lot of passing. Just fantastic if you ask me

  2. Well, didn’t see that one coming

    1. Amazing!

  3. Damn it i missed Q3. Lights went! :(

    1. Shame, have a look at Rosbergs lap later, more or less the perfect lap. Otherwise it was really about getting out there early.

      1. Yeah will try and watch the highlights.

  4. That moment where he confidently stepped out of the car very early and walked away with a damn big grin on his face will be remembered for a long time. Fantastic lap by Nico. I don’t see him lasting though.

    Kamui third, and we all know how strong Sauber is in the race. We could be in for an amazing upset here.

    1. That would be amazing, wouldn’t it.

    2. Oh it will be an amazing race. We are up for a treat!

  5. congrats Britneyyyyy

    1. Hehehhe.


  6. Such an exciting grid for tomorrow. I haven’t looked forward to a race this much in a long time. I can’t see Mercedes tyres holding up much so it will allow the cars behind to stay close. Its just like a reverse grid in a way with Sauber and Lotus up there, can’t wait

    1. @callum I agree, really looking forward to this one now. One to watch is Koby, if he goes 2 stop and everyone else goes 3 he may go one better than Perez did in Malaysia! Not sure if the can keep the tyres working that long though, operating window seems quite narrow in China especially with low temps.

      1. Yeah true mate, Its not like the Sauber is in an incorrect position. Its very fast at the moment and has probably the best tyre wear of any other car on the field, its such an open race!

  7. Some qualifying that!
    I am going to stick out my neck and say that Kimi is most likely to win the race tomorrow. He is in the best position to overtake the Mercs in the first two laps and let the slow Mercs keep everyone behind them with DDRS while Kimi runs off into the distance.

  8. MercedesBeanz
    14th April 2012, 8:27

    Also, the gap between lewis and jensen is an major indicator. The pace of the mclaren here is not what it was in the last two races, the true pace being that of jensen, with lewis out-performing the car’s capability, as only he can. Mclaren may not be as fast as it had been?

    1. Although Button under performed today, they also went out too late with him. Button should have been 4th before the temperature dropped.

      1. Guess the focus in the Mclaren is on race pace given their performance in the past two races.

      2. lewis went out behind jenson for his second run,and still managed to be quicker than jenson in the first 2 sectors,but he then pulled out of the lap because he wasnt beating rosbergs great lap if lewis was able to go quicker,jenson should have been able to.

    2. Mclaren was still 2nd, beaten only by a great lap from a car which overheats its tyres finding the sweetspot on a cold track.

      1. @Adam Totally agree, it will all change again when we get to the warmer races.
        Isn’t the race an hour later Merc could find the sweet spot again tomorrow, I expect them to be very fast at the start of the final stint (if they are still in the running) before destroying their tyres

    3. A lot of the gap is due to Button going out when it was already starting to get cold, Hamilton was doing fine and would look superb for the win tomorrow if not for that grid penalty.

    4. He “outperformed” his car… So he made it go quicker than it possibly can… Very interesting. Can you explain me how such a wonder is possible ?

      1. @gwenouille Hamilton just did this

        Also, noone can outperform the car, Lewis got out the MAXIMUM of the car, not more.

        1. The term “out performed” the car is used to describe when a driver laps quicker than the engineers believe possible. Hamilton seems to do this fairly often and put the McLaren higher up than their simulators would suggest so there is some merit to what MercedesBeanz said.

          Of course you are correct that you can only technically get the maximum out of the car, but driving faster than the simulation computer car is pretty impressive.

    5. @adam, I don’t agree, the Mercedes is quicker in qualifying…although definately not in the races

  9. Fantastic lap from Rosberg, but what happened Vettel? I think he should’ve gone for the new spec exhaust.

    1. He shouldn’t gave Grosjean a finger during friday practice………

      1. He’s not happy that the car isn’t the quickest

        1. So because he’s not happy his car ain’t on rails this year, that gives him the right to wave his fists at any driver that happens to find themselves ahead of him on track. Maybe it’s his new overtaking tactic and he’s testing it out for the race lol

          1. @goodyear92 – It’s frustration, yes he shouldn’t react the way he did but wouldn’t you be frustrated if you’d just won 2 WDC’s and you now realise that your car isn’t the fastest anymore?

          2. Isn´t it Ironic… I guess that is why Fernando did it also for quite some time and nobody has ever gotten over it but we should let it “slip by” just because it´s finger boy??

          3. @vettel1 Getting frustrated is one thing. Many drivers have and have acted out, but I have never seen a driver that expects every driver he comes across to get out of his way and he did it last year to at Korea with Jaime, so it’s got nothing to do with the frustration of not having the best car. He just seems to have this inflated sense of his own importance. Yeah he has just won two WDC’s. He’s not had 3 or 4 years of bad cars so maybe he should just be grateful he’s got a car that can challenge, but isn’t the fastest and stop thinking he’s the most important driver on the track.

  10. I predict Michael jumps Nico at the start forcing Nico to defend against Kamui, Kimi, Jensen and Lewis… unless a major “incident” makes it even more unbelievable.

    1. @mad-eric I do reckon Schumacher will have the advantage at the start. He usually makes really good starts. He set the record for the most positions gained in total on lap 1 throughout the season last year I believe.

      1. Nico has had some awesome starts as well though. It’s not just Schumacher.

  11. sid_prasher (@)
    14th April 2012, 8:31

    Wonder what happened to Seb? Super super lap from Nico & good job from Ferrari.

    1. @sid_prasher – I think it was because he ran the old exhaust; even though he felt the car was more balanced it’s a slower car because of it. He was nowhere near the apex of some of the turns.
      Also they’re never as fast as the other top teams on the straights; they could really use Mercedes double DRS system

      1. This. Vettel clearly prefers the old exhaust system however it is fundamentally slower than the new one. Evidence of this is that he lapped 1:36 three times probably pushing car to the max but it just wouldn’t go faster.

  12. A bit gutted for Alonso because I want him to win the WDC but I just absolutely enjoy watching him start from a fpoor position and thrashing the wheels off the little Ferrari.

  13. Michael will jump Nico and bye bye. the rest is up for grabs.

  14. Fantastic lap by Nico.. his confidence when he stepped out of the car was remarkable. Tomorrow is going to be an exciting day. Clearly there is no dominant car this year which makes the calender quite exciting to look forward to.

    Vettel out in Q2 is a shocker. We won’t be seeing that finger in a while :-). Ferrari is struggling. Forget the performance of Felipe, the car hasn’t got the pace!

    Its not going to be an easy fight for lewis considering the cars in front of him but it will be an exciting fight. I reckon he’ll beat Button this race. Bring on sunday!

    1. I hope Vettel does a similar thing to Webber last year at China, obviously he has a slight advantage because it’s p11 and not p18…

    2. I’d say there is a dominant car this year and it’s McLaren. Hamilton: pole, pole, 2nd(with penalty). That’s fairly dominant. Button really came up small today IMO and isn’t helping McLaren’s cause. I’d actually go as far as to say that McLaren is stronger than last year’s Red Bull – not because the car is better but the circumstances this year should really be favoring Hamilton-Button. This season could very easily have been (and still could be) about Hamilton-Button riding off into the distance with the Mercs holding up the rest of the field. Instead we’ve got a fantastic grid with Alonso as the leader (for now).

      1. The Red Bull was much faster than Mclaren for most of last year, this year’s Mclaren is only a few tenths quicker than Red Bull, and I think it’s actually slower in qualifying than the Mercedes, just their drivers aren’t as good as the Mclaren drivers.

        1. @ Max Jacobson I think you’re right about being “only a few tenths quicker” than the red bull. Yet, I really see Mercedes working to McLaren’s advantage. If Hamilton stay’s P2 then he’d likely be able to pass Rosberg and put serious distance between him and the rest of the field. And it’s this that I’m talking about.

          Also – Button surely needs to be p4 today. It’s crucial to McLaren’s championship to at least be just behind Hamilton in qualifying if not occasionaly beating him.

          1. Maybe, but they might have sorted out the tyres to an extent..

          2. Hamilton starts 7th. He has a 5 place penalty.

          3. As it says in the article, Hamilton is being relegated from second to seventh due to a gearbox change penalty.

          4. hamilton may struggle to stay 2nd when he’s starting 7th

          5. yes, I’ve understood the penalty to Hamilton. If you read my first reply to Max Jacobson it’s clear. This statement here is an “if” scenario. Hard sometimes to get a thought across in a few words…

          6. The confusion is because you said ‘stays p2’ when he isn’t in p2 to begin with

          7. Well, I understood what you meant the first time I read it. “If Hamilton” (had not gotten a penalty and) “stay’s P2 then he’d likely be able to pass Rosberg and put serious distance between him and the rest of the field.”

        2. Nor are Red Bull’s drivers as good as McLaren’s. Currently Alonso is better than the lot. But I liked Lewis’s comments about repeating his 2007 rookie season start, steady podiums before the wins. Nice attitude. Just hopefully with a better season finale! His real problem this race will be pit stop preference, though, if he hasn’t caught Button by the first. Another case of Button staying out a few laps more while Hamilton’s tyres turn into dust?

      2. Dominant would be 3 poles and 2 wins so far. Mclaren are not dominant but so far this year they have a small edge. Some years i.e 2007/2008 do not have dominant cars. Dominant is 1988 Mclaren 2011 Redbull 2002/2004 Ferrari etc.

        1. @markp It could very easily have been this. So perhaps “dominant’ isn’t the correct word. But McLaren is surely ahead of the rest of the field and needs to be taking better advantage of this.

          1. Agreed they have not capitalised. As a Ferrari fan I am happy they haven’t. It’s great it’s Mclaren and not Redbull with the edge as Mclaren haven’t capitalised on producing the best car in terms of dominance since the 80’s. In 98 they had a car to dominate but title went to last race so at least they keep things intersting even if this is not intentional

  15. Great lap Nico, I’m sure Michael could have got within 0.2 – 0.3 but what would have been the point of using more tyres.

    1. The on-board of Nico’s lap was fantastic, brilliant lap, diving into the corners with real relish and confidence. He’s due some success in Formula 1, great to see him get pole.

  16. Fantastic session! Great to see Vettel struggling for once! Also rather happy with my prediction, predicted Rosberg to get pole with a 1:35.123 :)

    1. How did you predict that? You’re a wizard!

      1. Fluke more than anything! Out of all the times since we started the predictions championship one is bound to be close.

    2. Wow, that’s a remarkable prediction. I predicted Schumi on pole, but really well done by Rosberg.
      Half a second ahead with a tight pack we have seen in the previous two races. That is something.

      1. @caci99 Yes, I did briefly have Schumi on pole, but then I remembered Rosberg’s effort last year and his stuff ups in the previous qualifying sessions this year. Great to see him finally do it though, it’s funny to think that he’s been racing since 2006 without a pole or win. He thoroughly deserves it, and the gap was amazing considering how close Q2 was. Also really happy to see Kobayashi up there too! I thought we would see the end of him since Perez has really started to shine, but he bounced back wonderfully :)

  17. What a lap from Rosberg.
    Great effort too from Kobayashi.
    Button was the only disappointment today, I was expecting he would be at the very least, third.
    As for Ferrari, it is hard to know if they actually designed a car or an umbrella.

  18. I predict Michael jumps Nico at the start forcing Nico to defend against Kamui, Kimi, Jensen and Lewis… unless a major “incident” makes it even more unbelievable.
    Michael will jump Nico and bye bye. the rest is up for grabs.

    Nico’s first pole and people are discussing who’s going to jump him at the start? Disturbing!

    1. your right my bad. and i really am very happy for Nico’s pole. he really had it coming.

      1. Lmao, you took it seriously?

    2. Unfortunately Michael’s starts have been better than Nico’s. I wish it was otherwise.

  19. Fingerboy missed Q3. Wherever his finger is; I know for a face that he’s showing eleven of them now. Horner’s full hand and his middle finger.

    1. Hahahahah..Great one :D

    2. @kingshark Nice one :)
      Maybe he is showing two fingers to form 11, but as the symbol of win.

      1. evolutionut
        14th April 2012, 9:10


  20. mercedes were actually very average in the speed trap. the saubers were on top.

    1. Suggests they’ve added more wing. Could be sitting ducks in the race tomorrow with Kamui so close

  21. The Money (@pamphlett31220)
    14th April 2012, 8:51

    I think anyone of the top 11 on the grid could win this race…and i can’t remember the last time i was so hesitant to pick a winner!.I predicted lewis for the win but i have a feeling Schumacher may add to his tally come tomorrow.

  22. Looks like maybe I should have predicted Kobayashi a higher finish than fourth!

  23. Vettel ,where is your finger? The tires should be the key in tomorrow race

  24. Looks like Sauber has a great chance to get third place on WCC

  25. Now, the name of the game is
    1. Speed
    2. Consistency
    3. Strategy
    4. Balls
    5. and good luck with the rain !

    1. And the winners of the game are…
      1. Mclaren
      2. Sauber
      3. Mercedes/Red Bull
      4. Kobayashi
      5. Schumacher/Hamilton

      1. You can never discount Raikkonen

      2. Someone forgets Alonso, Vettel and Sauber in the rain?

  26. I support Ferrari above other teams, but above all I am an F1 fan. I’m clearly not satisifed with where Ferrari are now, but I’m extremely happy for Rosberg, Schumacher, Kobayashi, Raikkonen, Mercedes and Sauber because they all managed to obtain great results today. It was just about time for Nico to have pole position, and I’m happy especiallly because it hopefully puts an end to rumours that he is overrated.

    1. Well said @Fixy

  27. It’s like being back in the 50s with an all Silver Arrows front row. Well, except for the racing in China, DRS, gear box change penalty etc !

  28. I’m having a feeling its gonna be a hot battle between Kobayashi and Raikkonen for 3rd or maybe even further up…That depends if Raikkonen does not get jumped by Button….

  29. I predict Lewis to win this one. He is the best overtaker in a car that is in all certainty the fastest in the race trim. Would also love to see Kimi on the podium step along with Schumi, but I feel that Jenson and Mark might have a thing or two to say about that. It would also be really interesting to see Alonso-Vettel battle out in the opening stages, with Grosjean sandwiched between them.

  30. Nico’s lap was absolutely stunning. He hit every apex and every braking point down to the last millisecond. I think at the end he knew it as well and got out of the car with 4 minutes remaining !!! How often have we seen that happening, not very, even last year when Vettel was out qualifying everyone it was usually at the last second. Talk about confidence. I hope they do well, seriously well and Nico seems like the guy who deserves a win more than anyone else. Yet, I’m not ready to bet on the Mercedes yet because of their tyre issues and still call a McLaren win tomorrow. If Mercedes manage it, I think they would jump to the team to beat this year.

  31. Sorry off topic, but I got to ask, How come SKY is transmitting all the races?!!

    1. Because that is the deal they arranged with BBC and Bernie. Those who are paying the money to watch on the New sky channel would not have been very happy in forking out all that for only half the races.

      1. So how are you guys in Britain watching F1, on SKY?

        1. On Sky or the BBC (when the BBC broadcast it, they are doin 10 races this year)

          On the races the BBC arnt doing, youll need a Sky sub or watch BBC highlights later on.

          1. I think next year you will only be able to watch on SKY and pay EUR 500. What happened to “Free of charge F1”?

          2. All sport, not just F1, is becoming too expensive for FTA.

            An ex-BBC guy (Sir Paul Fox) recently revealed that the BBC has all but given up on chasing broadcasting rights for any sport…

            Today’s Grand National is their last, F1 probably won’t last the length of the promised ’till 2018′ mooted when the Sky deal was revealed, Wimbledon is prohibitively expensive (even for a heritage event) and the Olympics has proven obscenely costly to the tax payer as the BBC have massively over-invested for the level of interest.

            Basically, if you want to watch sport, you need pay TV.

  32. A world class lap from Nico, I always knew he had it in him, I get annoyed when people say he is average, he has the abillity to be a serial race winner. Will be interesting to see if the mercs have solved there race problems with tyre wear have been solved if not I dont think they will win and it will be fascinating to see what kobayashi does at the start and dont rule kimi he looks fast and he is still as good as ever.

    As a ferrari man i need it to rain because they are not good enough, suaber is quicker than them and the midfield will bec close with alonso, seb and massa near grosjean whos had accidents at the start of his grand prix’s.

    Hope the drs is not too strong so we get some good wheel to wheel racing and drivers show their skill and the quick cars dont just breeze through, any1 in the top 11 could win and sprinkle some rain and literally any1 can win.


    1. the only thing that can stop fernando from a great result is grosejan hitting him on the first corner

  33. Best quali session for 2012. The first lap will be intriguing.

  34. Outstanding lap from Nico! Though Michael’s qualifying form so far this year was good (better than Nico’s), I still think Nico has the edge over Michael. And he just showed that.
    Anyway, their qualifying form has improved as much as their race pace has decreased. So, all in all, I think they’ll struggle a lot in the race tomorrow.
    Somehow, I think they’ll be lucky if they (Mercedes) finish 4th in the constructors, considering Lotus and Sauber form this year (not to mention the McLaren and RedBull). They still have a problem with traction (somehow, they cannot get the most of their engine).

  35. I really hope that Mercedes will finish 1-2 tomorrow and prove that people are wrong to think they have only qualy car and write them off as soon as qualiy has ended…I still think they are capable of winning and i am pretty sure that they have made a really good step forward with their car,when they hit Barcelona next month.

    1. indeed they did with an illegal design as is customary from Brawn FIA was NEVER going to rule that illegal….lets be honest here…as they did with Brawn Gp gives more drama…pathetic…

      1. You sir, should grow up…. the FIA declared it legal… I guess Mercedes interpreted the rules better than anyone else as was the case when it was BRAWN GP. I guess you are just bitter that Ross Brawn is as smart as he is!
        Where were you when the RB7 rolled out huh??? If Newey does it, it´s brilliant?? Get a life man!

  36. What a joke brawn does it again in 3 years….. First the double deck diff. now this…
    FIA passing this as legal is a joke its once again a gentlemanly agreement is down the drain. I for once hope the teams realise that Brawn is there to play dirty and they spring a surprise next year…

    take the DRS out of the Merc 4th car at best….disgusting…

    Lotus updates are a joke they had to revert so in retrospect Kimi did an amazing job… So far Lotus seems to be good 2 races and fall apart come China…sad…

    1. Mercedes have managed to find a grey area in the regulations and used it to their advantage, that’s what f1’s all about. He’s a smart man, not a joke.
      I’m no Mercedes fan but I admire their innovation, and I like that they’ve dislodged Mclaren from the front row

      1. indeed grey and so are the diff. few years ago…really who are you trying to kid….

        FIA declared it legal to ad spice as it did to Brawn GP to break up the status quo.

        I could not care less about Rosberg or Merc, if he took pole by 4 seconds good for him but it shows how this “loophole” is messing the real picture again as it did in 2009….shame…

        1. Brawn has found something in the regulations that other teams have missed, as many other teams have done in the past.
          F1 has changed since the Senna/Schumacher days, where normally the team with the biggest budget or the team with the biggest technical advantage (such as active suspension on the FW14), any advantage you can find you take.

      2. In fairness Rosberg deseres a good result but not like this in my eyes…. its just jaded and it will be remembered aaahh well he had the DRS. I wont forget the moment Brawn GP didnt have “tech supremacy” Button pretty much neutralised for the remainder of the season…

    2. Again…. you sir need to grow up… Mercedes interpreted the rules better than anyone else… There is nothing ilegal about that… I guess it stings you a bit that Ross Brawn is above average when it comes to being smart!

      Oh, BTW, everybody in F1 plays dirty and is out to win no matter what…. just look at RBR and their EBD!!! Where is your arguement about that??? That should have been ilegal from the start, but i guess you thought it was innovative huh?? Grow up and get a life man!!

      1. Yeah they banned Renault damper system….so..


    3. Well, I remember at least 2 other teams using DDD at the first race in 2009, so deeming it legal was not because of Brawn…

    4. if the mercedes DRS is that good why are other teams ONLY thinking is it worthwile copying or not. and thank God that someone made a new great thing. seeing red bull not even close to pole makes my day, even if i’m an alonso fan and i’d like to see him winning

  37. Great lap by Rosberg.

    Anyone know who managed to save a fresh set of options ? Rosberg & Kobyashi for sure, but otherwise tough to keep track.

    1. I think Raikkonen got away with one lap only in both Q1 (hards?) and Q2. He did go out for a second attempt in Q3, but aborted so he’s got one set of softs pretty much just scrubbed.

      Didn’t think Kobayashi had saved a set of softs, he used two in Q2 I think and same for Rosberg?

  38. The BBC commentators said Hamilton set his Q3 time on scrubbed tyres. He aborted his run on new tyres. …So this means he is starting on scrubbed tyres? I haven’t heard anyone mention this yet.

    Were the BBC commentators right? I thought they were wrong at the time that they said that. I thought he used mediums in Q1 and ONLY 1 set of softs in Q2. Anyone know the truth?

    1. Good point, yes they did say that, but that means his tyres will be less worn that everyone else as he did less of a lap than the others. But then again it means Rosberg and a few others will have an extra set of brand new tyres for the race. It was colder as the session wore on which is why nobody could challenge Nico later on, sorry if you already knew that!

    2. Hamilton went out for a second time at the end of Q2, but pitted at the end of his outlap.

      1. Thanks AdrianMorse. So he will basically have tyres in about the same shape as everyone else. The Mercedes drivers will both have 1 new set of softs, but they will in all likelihood suffer so badly with tyre wear that that won’t be much of an advantage for them.

  39. Considering that the track got slower in the later part of Q3 and that both Ferrari’s were within .5 secs off the fastest time in Q2, I am happy that Ferrari have shown progress.
    Not sure what Alonso is worried about since they clearly said this track doesn’t suit the characteristics of their car.

    If they get their Spain upgrade to be working as intended, then Ferrari might surprise a lot of people (including themselves?)

    Can’t wait to see the race.

    1. he is worried because he knows they don’t have a big upragade for spain. they are just saying that to calm people down. it looks to me as if they are only prepearing for the 2013 season

    2. he is worried because he knows no big upgrade will sort out their problems

  40. If it’s wet than Mercedes needn’t worry about tyre wear, last time I heard it was 30% chance of rain for the race, anyone got a better forecast?

    If it’s dry then who’s going to come through to win it? Any one of about 5 drivers by the look of it.

  41. LOL @schumacher in that photo…he looks like that embarassing extroverted uncle one has always posing like a dill in family photos

  42. just a little creation of my..could not resist

      1. LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL!!!! EPIC!!! I´m stealing this dude!!!

  43. its great that rosberg got his first pole, but be realistic the race pace of mercedes isnt as good as the mclarens, however i expect a mercedes to finish on the podium, and kimi to finish on the podium too, lewis looks quickest over a race distance so it is lewis who will win

  44. 1. Last time that a driver left the car with several minutes of qualy left and confident that nobody will take the Pole from him, as far as I can remember, was Prost in McLaren, to put pressure on Senna. We all know how that ended…
    2. PERFECT lap from Nico. Absolutely astonishing. Not very common to see nowadays half a second of difference between 1st and 2nd in qualy. But it seems to me that races are won not with one perfect lap but with MANY less-that-perfect laps, one after another. Consistency is the key. And in that aspect, it seems to me that Schumacher is leaps ahead of Nico. Hamilton too. So, we have a lot to expect for the racing.
    3. I have the impression that Massa managed to approach a bit to Alonso. I’ve read somewhere (can’t remember where) that the Ferrari’s 2012 model was designed around Alonso’s driving style, in the same was they used to design a car around Schumacher. The driving position in relation to the front suspensions was adapted to Alonso’s instructions, and is quite lower than last year. In any case, it is evident that Massa is driving a car that he can’t understand. Even with that, he managed to put his car in Q3 for a couple of laps, until he was out. Alonso’s best lap was 0.3 better that Massa. Still a big gap, but I have the impression that something is changing. IF THAT HAPPENS (and is a big IF), I would like to see Alonso’s reaction, driving a tractor and with a more competitive teammate. But the car is a dog. It is revealing that the Saubers, with Ferrari engines, are faster and more consistent that the proper Ferraris. In my view, that says a lot of the bad product that Maranello developed this year.
    4. Kimi and Kamui. Kimi is improving and seems to be more confortable with the car, and I expect a great race from him tomorrow. Kamui is a driver that I like, the dude is fast and carry massive balls, reminds me of Hamilton few years ago. And now he has a very good car. Another one to watch tomorrow.
    5. Jenson Button. Unconfortable in the car the last two days. He is a fast dude, no question about it, and probably one of the most intelligent racers on the grid. It will be interesting to see the strategy he brings tomorrow.
    6. Best comedy moment of the qualy? The Oscar goes to Schumacher, saying “Not bad!” when the pit tells him that Nico was half a second faster…. I LOLED
    7. Anthony Davidson. I followed the session through Sky and was quite impressed with Davidson’s analysis about Vettel’s problems just following the video. His analysis of Nico’s magic lap and the differences in car response compared to Vettel was really good. Ok, Georgia’s red dress helps a lot, but Davidson brought technical knowledge to the comments.

  45. Was that the tightest Top 11 Q2 in history? That was amazing!

    Finally, Nico! Congrats.

  46. Please Ferrari, fire Fry asap. The guy just failed!

    1. Yeah great idea. Keep fire all your engineers who doesn’t manage to get it right, just like Dyer and Costa, then you’ll end up having Fernando designing the car as well, that has to be the best way to go hasn’t it…

  47. Did anyone else find the FIA’s interviewer’s comment to Nico a bit unprofessional? “congratulations on the feel good pole”
    What a ****.
    Congratulations Nico, even if he’s right.

    1. Jack Flash (Aust)
      14th April 2012, 15:15

      Errr.. You mean James Allen. JA did the post Quali top three interview for FOM Coverage.
      I didn’t think he was inferring any belittling of Nico’s accomplishment by that phrasing. More that after 100+ F1 starts, a long overdue maiden F1 pole would be “feel good” for Nico, and everyone else in F1 family being happy he got that monkey off his back.
      I don’t think JA was being sarcy.

  48. Nico was the fastest in the 2nd sector which means that Mercedes went for alot more downforce than they would if they didnt had a “Super-DRS”.

  49. nice lap from Roseberg and great result for Mercedes!
    but let’s not forget that two long straights and their double DRS helped them as well

  50. What a great qualifying session, probably the best result I’ve seen. It’s SLIGHTLY disappointing that the challenge for P1 didn’t go right down to the wire but that disappointment is more than outweighed by reveling in Rosberg’s superb lap and his decision to not bother trying to put in a better time.

    I’m really happy for Schumacher too and it will be fascinating to watch him and Rosberg battle it out down to turn 1. Schumacher has a habit of making great, if not the best starts in F1 right now so he’s well placed to jump Rosberg.

    Well done to Sauber for proving that their pace was not a fluke in Malaysia. Of course, we still have the race to go, but a team so fast on a track with the longest straight AND so easy on their tyres should make for a solid result.

    Great to see Lotus up there too. Third time lucky, Grosjean?!

    Can’t wait for tomorrow. This has the makings of a classic.

    1. @AndrewTanner I couldn’t agree more!

  51. Race will be EPIC!

  52. I’m genuinely happy for Nico and Mercedes. If they can sort the race pace out and keep up with development, he has a genuine chance of being the 3rd son of a champion to be a champion!

  53. Good effort, nice to see him extracting everything from the car, which was banging on the tarmac and sparkling on corners (at 2:15)

  54. Close to the end of back straight in his perfect Q3 lap, Nico adjusted something by taking his left hand off the steering wheel. Can Keith someone put some light on that. Thanks.

    1. That kind of gesture, which must be associated to some adjustment is actually seen a lot when they show on-board feeds.
      I also don’t know what it is and I always get a bit surprised as I was under the impression that all the possible adjustments are done via the steering wheel buttons.
      Can it be just a movement for relaxing the hand considering it is not needed during acceleration in the straights?

      1. I might be reading too much but it seems to me like he adjusted something downwards..

        1. iirc I think I heard commentary saying it may have been the brake bias.

        2. Mr Agreeable
          15th April 2012, 5:15

          Its the brake balance lever, & it is quite common to see drivers continually adjust it throughout the lap

    2. Jack Flash (Aust)
      15th April 2012, 2:17

      Adjusting the Braking bias fwd.
      As Nico’s barreling down the back straight, prior to getting to the massive braking zone for the end hairpin, he places Brake bias forward more. This helps straightline Brake late and brake hard effect to the max. Thus as little loss of time at that corner as possible.

      Brake bias prior to this point on track needs a more front/rear balance. JF

  55. I’m sorry if my comment is repeating someone else’s, but I have to say that the lap from Rosberg must be one of the best ever qualifying laps of all time. Well, at least the recent times…
    When you look at how close the field was in Q2 and then he is more than 0,5s faster than anyone else on that lap it’s just something SPECTACULAR.
    It is really a good way to get his first pole: a stunning one!
    It was a very good qualifying to follow and still unpredictable. I thought the time gaps between the pack would be increasing but not at all … except for Rosberg’s perfect lap!

  56. Nico’s lap was one of the most clinical I’ve seen in a while. One lap and walks out with a grin on his face – fantastic!
    This grid is one of the best in a long time.
    I think Michael has a good chance of leading by the end of lap 1 if he does one of his usually quick starts. Tyres are a major concern for MGP, so they might need a very clever strategy today. I have my eyes on Koba and Kimi.. it’ll be very interesting to watch those two in the first stint. There’s a good chance of Hamilton getting to the top but, from P7, it looks pretty difficult considering the Sauber ahead has phenomenal long-run pace. Button on the other hand, could find himself fighting with Kimi and if he can dial the car in within the first couple laps, chances are good that he’ll make it into the top 3. Key is if Webber is able to get past him in the first lap or two, Button might try to undercut him with an earlier stop.

    Its all set up nicely for today.. 4 hours to go!

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