Nico Rosberg has taken his second pole and also the second pole of the year for Mercedes AMG F1. The German dominated the final part of qualifying and he will start alongside Sebastian Vettel on the front row for tomorrow's Bahrain GP. Fernando Alonso is third with Felipe Massa alongside him on the second row.
The first three minutes were quiet once again, but eventually it was Sauber who decided to get its drivers out on track, both leaving the pits on the hard tyres. Gutierrez sets the first time, but Hulkenberg is quicker second later, completing his lap in 1:34.409.
As soon as the Sauber cars completed their first laps, many others also think it's time to go out with the track flourishing of action soon after. 5 minutes from the end this results in Alonso topping the timesheet with a 1:32.878. Nico Rosberg is second, ahead of Grosjean, Di Resta, Massa, Raikkonen and Sutil. Neither Red Bull has set a timed lap so far as they have just left the pits with about 6 minutes left on the clock.
Contrary to most however, the Red Bulls are on the medium tyre, with Vettel posting 2nd and Webber the 8th best time. Hamilton is even later to set his lap and does so on the hard tyres. He goes 5th fastest, 0.620s away from Alonso's best.
As the chequered flag drops, Pic improves to 19th. Van der Garde moves up into 21st while Ricciardo goes through to Q2 by setting the 12th time.
This eliminates Maldonado, Gutierrez, Pic, Bianchi, Van der Garde and Chilton. This means reasonably happy faces at Caterham as they managed to qualify ahead and in between Marussia.
In Q2 Red Bull is out early, along with Hulkenberg and Vergne. Vettel emerged on top in 1:32.471, followed by Webber and Hulkenberg.
Many others are out on track by the time Red Bull is getting ready to receive its cars back into the pits. Everybody is now on the medium tyre.
Little over halfway, Alonso moves to the top again, 0.019s faster than Di Resta. Vettel is still third,, followed by Massa, Webber, Raikkonen, Sutil and both McLarens, led by Button. 2 minutes later however Rosberg shatters the time of Alonso by going more than 4 tenths quicker.
With 2 minutes left, Grosjean goes 7th fastest, triggering Raikkonen and both McLAren's departure from the pitlane to go out for another lap. By now Webber is also back on track to improve as 8th might not be enough to go through when others improve.
The Australian however quickly secures his place in Q3 by going 2nd fastest. Sutil is next to improve, going into 6th. Button improves to 10th, Raikkonen to 4th and Massa also improved, although it wasn't really necessary. This ousts Grosjean who is 11th, ahead of Pérez, Ricciardo, Hulkenberg, Bottas and Vergne. Button on the other hand was very happy to make it through to Q3, contrary to expectations from McLaren earlier on in the weekend.
In Q3 Di Rsta is the first man out, but it's Rosberg who sets the early pace, topping Alonso by a tenth, Hamilton and Di Resta. Apart from those four, nobody else goes out early on in the session, opting to go for a single flying lap.
Towars the end of the session, cars are generally very close to each other, tying to make it in time to the finish line while also aiming to not be hindered by the car ahead. Everybody is on the medium tyre for the final attempt, except for Massa who surprisingly opts for the harder compound.
Webber is the first to set his time and gets into 4th, just ahead of Sutil. Raikkonen posts only 6th. Rosberg improves another two tenths to secure pole position while Vettel moves up into second place. Alonso didn't improve in the first sectors and just came back into the pits. Button couldn't even be bothered setting a time and came back in as well.
This secures Rosberg's second pole of his career with Sebastian Vettel starting alongside him on the front row.
|1||9||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes AMG||1:33.364||1:32.867||1:32.330||14|
|2||1||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1:33.327||1:32.746||1:32.584||12|
|4||10||Lewis Hamilton (*)||Mercedes AMG||1:33.498||1:33.346||1:32.762||13|
|5||2||Mark Webber (*)||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1:33.966||1:33.098||1:33.078||13|
|7||14||Paul di Resta||Force India-Mercedes||1:33.762||1:33.335||1:33.235||14|
|8||15||Adrian Sutil||Force India-Mercedes||1:34.048||1:33.378||1:33.246||16|
|18||12||Esteban Gutierrez (*)||Sauber-Ferrari||1:34.730||-||-||9|
|21||21||Giedo van der Garde||Caterham-Renault||1:36.304||-||-||7|
* Mark Webber is demoted 3 places on the grid due to a penalty incurred at the Chinese GP
* Esteban Gutierrez drops 5 places as well due to a penalty for a collision during the Chinese GP
* Lewis Hamilton drops 5 places due to a gearbox change after FP3