Nico Rosberg has outqualified his teammate Michael Schumacher for the first time in 2012, as well as the rest of the field by snatching pole position, a maiden first position for him (after 111 attempts) and also for Mercedes AMG PETRONAS team, a first pole as a works team since Monza 1955 with Juan Manuel Fangio.
Lewis Hamilton in Mclaren was second, some 0.505 seconds slower than Rosberg ultimate 1m 35.121s. Nico's teammate, the legendary Schuey is further 0.065s slower than the Mclaren leading driver. However, due to Lewis penalty incurred by the change of gearbox, Mercedes AMG PETRONAS now filled up the front row of the grid.
The shock of the day however was the reigning champion Sebastian Vettel failure to make it to Q3. He has to settle down with 11th place at the end of Q2. However, Vettel denied that his slow pace is due to the old-spec exhaust that he opted to use instead of switching to the newer item as him team mate Webber who managed to cork out more pace in sister car. Other big names that failed to make it further than Q2 was Felipe Massa although it is hardly surprising judging by how underperforming he has been in the Ferrari ever since 2009.
The Sauber duo continues to impressed in their C31 racer by scoring 4th and 8th, each which will be 3rd (!) and 7th on Sunday starting grid. Ferrari road car might be some of the most legendary car ever, however their F1 machine is just like Perodua Viva among the Proton Preve. Even the mighty Alonso just managed some 1.501s slower than pole sitter.
Full Chinese GP qualifying results after the jump.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap
1. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m35.121s 2. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1m35.626s + 0.505 3. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1m35.691s + 0.570 4. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1m35.784s + 0.663 5. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1m35.898s + 0.777 6. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m36.191s + 1.070 7. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m36.290s + 1.169 8. Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1m36.524s + 1.403 9. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m36.622s + 1.501 10. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault No time 11. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 12. Felipe Massa Ferrari 13. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 14. Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 15. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 16. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 17. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 18. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 19. Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 20. Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 21. Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 22. Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 23. Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 24. Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth